Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Stuffed mushrooms

Its really easy to make stuffed mushrooms. Clean them, remove the stems. Oil, salt and pepper them. I like olive oil for the flavor. If you don't oil them they can get dry. Olive oil is good for you, eat it.

Chop up the stems and add them to a package of cream cheese and shredded parmesan
I added 1 tbsp each parsley, oregano and hot pepper flakes. Add 1/4 cup of almond meal. Stir that together.

Fill the caps with the mixture but don't over fill because they will melt and make a nasty burnt mess in the pan and flavor everything with a nasty burnt flavor. So, don't do that.
Bake them off at about 350 degrees F. Watch them, depending on the size of your mushrooms they may cook faster or longer.

Lately, mushrooms are running around 4 dollars per pound. Thats actually more expensive than meat, but they are so darned tasty, I like to splurge. So Mange! Thats Italian for eat!

Happy Birthday Big Brother!

Today is my brother's birthday. He is 34 years young. The world is lucky to have him. So, I baked a cake.

I went with the buttermilk cake recipe I've used here before. I poured half the batter in one 9 inch cake tin, properly buttered.

The filling is 2 packages of cream cheese, 1/4 cup of sugar, and 1/4 cup sour cream. I cut up some fresh strawberries. First, I laid down the bottom cake, flat side up. Then I added a layer of filling followed by a single layer of strawberries, then another layer of filling.

Then, I added the second cake layer, followed by a very thing layer of filling.

Then, I frosted the whole cake with fresh whipped cream and topped it with strawberries.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Lemon Chicken Pasta

I made this for dinner out of scraps and bits and pieces. I never expected to enjoy these domestic pursuits. I honestly like and look forward to my time in the kitchen. Isn't it funny how we change and yet remain the same.

The Recipe:


Whole wheat pasta.
Diced cooked chicken breast.
Artichoke hearts.
1 tbsp. diced mild green chili's
1/4 of a yellow bell pepper
1/2 can of corn
1 rib of celery

Cream/Cheese Sauce:
6 tbsp. AP flour
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups whole milk
1 cup monterey jack
1 cup cheddar

black pepper
white pepper
tarragon 1/2 tsp.
zest of one lemon
parsley dried 2 tbsp.

more cheese to top it

1. Butter a large casserole dish.
2. Make cream sauce by making a light roux, then slowly add the milks, then cook for another few minutes on low until thickened and brought up to a simmer. Then turn off the heat. Off the heat, add the seasonings and cheese. Stir until melted completely.
3. Add the filling to the pot.
4. Pour into the casserole dish

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
Then add more cheese to the top and bake another 20 minutes.
Turn off the oven and let it cool in the oven 10 minutes.
Take out of the oven and allow to cool to eating temperature.


Asparagus Quiche

Asparagus Quiche.


One slice.

Its spring.

Inspired by Pioneer Woman's blog today. I wasn't going to make asparagus anything but I saw her blog and thought, why not?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Gluten free Chili Lime Burrito

Good afternoon world! For lunch I made chili with a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Check to be sure all your ingredients are gluten free if that is important to your health, if not, don't worry be happy. This is not an induction friendly recipe but it could be easily, just switch out the peas with some diced celery. Also, instead of garbanzo beans you could go with chopped bell pepper. Peppers are a berry and do have some carbs in them but are not a legume so I think you can have 1/2 to 1 cup of those a day and still be in the realm of a low carb diet. You can use this simple, easily adaptable base over brown rice, stir fried vegetables, or roasted squash. The great part is that it warms up very well.

Gluten Free Chili Lime Burritos

Protein and vegetable base:
1/2 pound of ground beef
1 can low sodium diced tomatoes
1 can garbanzo beans
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 can of low sodium SW garbanzo beans


1/4 cup of enchilada sauce.
juice of 1/2 lime
Dash of Louisana hot sauce
Capful of Tamari sauce
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. coconut oil (Spectrum brand)

1 tsp. McCormick Ground Chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp. Trader Joe's garlic powder
1/2 tsp. McCormick Chili powder
1 tbsp dried parsley flakes
dash ground white pepper

To serve:
Sour cream
Lime juice
Sliced olives

1. Brown ground beef in coconut oil, season the meat with salt and pepper.
2. Add vegetables
3. Add sauce.
4. Stir and simmer until done uncovered in a medium pot on medium heat.
5. If using, warm corn tortillas in the microwave.
6. Plate: Put small amount of bean sprouts in center, add a dollop of sour cream. (Knudsen please) add 1-2 tablespoons of chili filling.

Roll up into a burrito.

Do you have a favorite chili recipe? If so tell me about it.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

High Marks Meat loaf

High Marks Meatloaf:

Notes: This loaf is full of flavor and was devoured by four grown adults with gusto.

The meat:
1.5 pounds ground beef

The mix-ins:
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced raw mushrooms
1/4 cup raisins microwaved in 1/4 cup of water on low for 20 seconds. Retain the water.
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small cup of all natural applesauce
1/8 cup water
Heinz organic ketchup
zest of one orange


1/8 cup dried parsley
1 tsp. ground chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp. TJ's garlic powder
1 tsp. TJ's red chili pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. salt
white pepper (to taste)
freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Soak your oats in the applesauce, olive oil and raisin water.
3. In a large bowl, add all your mix-ins to your meat, gently mixing until all are loosely combined.
4. Sprinkle on your seasoning and mix into your meatloaf mixture.
5. Line a large glass oven safe dish with foil.
6. Place your mixture in the dish and gently forming a shallow loaf. Flatten to shorten the cooking time. If your loaf is taller it make take longer to cook.
7. Squirt some ketchup in a fun design if you are feeling crafty or just spread it over the top, this makes for a tasty finish. It creates a kind of tomato-ey glaze.
8. Place your dish in the hot oven and cook until done, approximately 35-45 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Banana Nut Yogurt Bread

When life gives you bananas, you make bread. I realized that my bananas were almost too ripe to just eat so I decided to give the Banana nut bread recipe on page 584 in the "America's Test Kitchen Family Recipes" book a try. Instead of starting with three bananas, I had two. Because of this, I added an additional 1/4 cup of yogurt. I did not use a spatula to mix the batter, instead I used a whisk. I also added 4 egg whites, why? because I had them in the refrigerator and they needed to be used. They called for unsalted butter, I left it out. I added a tablespoon of cinnamon to balance the sweetness of the fruit.

Why? Cause I forgot it in the microwave.

I poured the batter into two 9 x 5 pans, roughly evenly. In one I mixed in walnuts and in the other some slivered almonds I had sitting around. The recipe calls for one pan. Because of the two pans I reduced the amount of time in the oven to 35 minutes and it was just right. They came out beautifully. They made the house smell so good. Its a pity I'm on a diet and these are not gluten free. I baked them for my brother. Also, I baked them to use up those bananas. I hate to be wasteful.

Tip: Always be sure your eggs are room temperature. You can get them warm by filling a small bowl with hot tap water and putting the eggs in. They won't become hard boiled, I promise.

For a full copy of the recipe buy a copy of "America's Test Kitchen Family Recipes." Its a great big binder full of recipes and it has lots of cooking tips. It was a Christmas present several years ago and I use it all the time.

St. Paddy's day Coconut Pie

Start by making a Tollhouse style coconut cookie. Bake the cookie with the appropriate amount of coconut flakes mixed in without any chocolate chips. Spread it in a buttered pie dish. Bake in a 325 degree oven, keeping an eye on it, watch for doneness, about 20 minutes. When you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean its done.

Then make a batch of the coconut cream pudding in "The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook" on page 692. Put the pudding in the refrigerator to cool. Use only coconut milk rather than using regular dairy milk. It has much better flavor. Also, use coconut flavoring rather than vanilla extract, this is a coconut pie not a vanilla pudding. Allow pudding and cookie to chill overnight.

On the day you plan to serve, whip some fresh heavy whipping cream. Use 1/4 cup sugar, dash of salt and another 1/4 tsp of coconut flavoring.

Fold 1 cup of the cream into the coconut pudding. Spread this mixture on the coconut cookie. Then finish with plain whipped cream and sprinkle green decorator sugar on top.

St. Paddy's day coconut cream pie, ain't them Irish eyes smilin' now?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Gluten Free Blackberry Lemon Muffins

Happy Birthday to me! Its a gluten free birthday. Its a gluten free muffin birthday. I have adapted a recipe from "Just Like Mom Made" (pg. 211 "Lemon-Raspberry Muffins) to gluten free by using Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free flour. There is dairy in this recipe. Use fresh blackberries for the best result.

The recipe:
2 cups Bob's Red Mill all purpose baking flour
1 cup C&H granulated sugar
1 tablespoon Clabber Girl baking powder
1/2 teaspoon iodized salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 room temperature eggs lightly beaten
1 cup room temperature buttermilk
2/3 cup corn oil
1 teaspoon McCormick lemon extract

1 cup fresh blackberries (optional)

Butter to grease the muffin tin

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F.
Grease 12 cup muffin tin with butter around rims of cups.
Line tin with silicon or papers cups.

Combine dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a large bowl, whisk gently until no cinnamon streaks and it is well mixed.

In a small bowl put the wet ingredients: buttermilk (use a wet measure not a dry) the oil, and lemon extract. Add the eggs and with a fork or small whisk gently combine until the egg yolk is incorporated.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients slowly, gently whisking them together until just combined. Don't over beat. Allow to rest for at least a minute.

Put the berries into the bottom of the tins. Make sure you have the same number of berries in each cup or else they won't cook in the same amount of time.

Scoop 1/4 cup of the batter into each cup.
Bake for approximately 25 minutes. Check the muffins at 20 minutes for doneness, if they are too dark tent with foil to prevent burning.

The recipe makes about 12 muffins without fruit, 16 muffins with fruit.

We enjoyed ours with butter.

Monday, February 1, 2010


I don't have any pictures. I just watched a video podcast from "Howcast Food & Drink" and even though I enjoy the podcast, some of the things they did are not the techniques that I use.

For one, I don't use cooking spray. You are already making brownies, use butter. Grease your 8 x 8 or 9 x9 pan with butter, it dramatically improves the flavor of your final product. If you want to line your dish with foil you can but please consult either Martha Stewart's book on the subject of lining a pan with handles built into your foil or some other better guide than the Howcast. Don't get me wrong, I like their podcast, they just left a few things out.

Lets move onto the butter/chocolate. They show the pan directly on the stovetop. Its better to use a double boiler or to even melt the chocolate in the microwave on medium low at 30 second intervals until its just melting. Stir with a spatula or spoon between each interval and allow the butter/chocolate mixture to melt gently or else you run the risk of burning your chocolate which I guarantee you is not good eats. Also, you don't want the butter on the outside of your pot, rather on the inside with the chocolate.

If it were me, I would not transfer the chocolate to the bowl just yet. They could have instead either beat the eggs and sugar until light yellow or stirred the sugar into the flour and then after tempering the egg with a small amount of the chocolate added the egg to the chocolate mixture not in the pan but in another bowl.

One more thing, they did not use any baking powder. The brownies will come out more fudge like and more dense rather than cake like. The vanilla could have been added with the eggs. Their idea of "mix well" is lumpy and looks too cold. If your batter is smooth thats ok. But, brownies want to be just stirred, lumps are ok, you just want to moisten the batter not build up gluten which will toughen your food product and make it very unpleasant to the tooth. As you can see when they "pour" the batter into the baking dish that its not really pouring at all. Most brownies when mixed are a thinner consistency than this.

They didn't even sift their flour. I would suggest doing this to produce a more delicate crumb and more loft in your brownie.

If you are adding the chopped nuts I would suggest stirring them into the batter before pouring it into the pan. This prevents burning. Burnt nuts are awful. Don't eat them.

Their demonstration of inserting a toothpick and pulling it out cleanly was a very underdone brownie. Extremely.

When you go to depan your brownies, use a plate, put it upside down ontop of your brownie pan. Flip the pan and gently tap the bottom side. The brownies should just fall onto the plate.

Don't eat them too hot or else you will get burned.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Garden Fork Podcast

I really enjoy their podcast. They cover a broad range of topics and its very personable not to mention very dogable. I have enjoyed making a play list with the recipes and gardening tips for when I do various kinds of office work. I let it play and it helps the time go by. Check them out they are on iTunes as a free download.