Sunday, June 14, 2009

Guest Blogger: Pizza

Impromptu Pizza:
Medium crust
Red Bell Peppers

Chop the peppers

Chop Cilantro

Spread cheese


Form the base

Add cilantro and peppers

The finished product!

If you use a quality cooking sheet or pizza stone you won't have the crust adhere to the pizza stone and would mostly likely be able to eat Pizza with Crust... we mostly ate toppings with a thin layer of crust that didn't stick to the stone.

Dough by MadreBob
Photos by eric.dacus

Thursday, June 04, 2009

carrot cake cupcakes

makes 1 dozen

2 c flour (i substituted 1/2 c whole wheat)
1 c brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/4 applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
2 c shredded carrot
1 ripe banana, mashed

preheat oven to 350

in large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. in another bowl combine eggs, oil, applesauce, and vanilla. add carrot and banana and stir until smooth. mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients. stirring just until moistened and combined. fill lined muffin cups about 3/4 full using all the batter. bake for 22-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. cool before frosting.


8 oz cream cheese, room temp
6 tbs butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 c powdered sugar

in electric mixer whip cream cheese and butter together until combimed. add vanilla. add sugar 1/2 cup at a time scrapping down the sides of the bowl. use frosting immediately.

Cinnamon Nut Buns

So i've never made cinnamon rolls myself. weird. i guess i always felt like they were just so much effort. but, obviously, i've been in an kitchen effort mood recently and rolled these suckers out. i like everything about them except the icing. it is just too buttery, if that's possible. i'd go with a simpler powdered sugar icing next time.


1/4 c warm water
2 packets yeast
1 1/2 c warm milk
1/2 c butter, melted, plus more for bowl and pans
1/4 c sugar
2 1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
6-7 c flour, plus more for work surface (i substituted 2 cups of whole wheat flour)

1. place water in small bowl, sprinkle with yeast. let stand until foamy about 5 minutes. in large bowl shisk together milk, butter, sugar, salt and 2 eggs. (i just realized i added 3 eggs to my recipe. whoops. maybe that's why i had to add at least another cup and half of flour..hmm...)

2. using a wooden spoon, stir in 6 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time until you have a soft shaggy6 dough (if necessary add up to 1/2 cup more flour. unless you feel like using 3 eggs in which case you will add at least another 1-2 cups during your kneading process. ha. ) turn dough out onto floured work surface, knead until smooth and elastic 5-10 minutes. butter inside of a large bowl, place dough in bowl turning to coat. cover bowl with plastic wrap. let stand in a warm spot until dough has doubled in size about 2 hours.

1/2 c butter, room temp ( i used less b/c this recipe has an extravagant amt of butter in it. i used maybe 5 tablespoons of room temp butter b/c it's just for spready on the rolled dough and you can control the amt nicely)
1 c packed brown sugar
2/3 c walnuts or pecans
1 tsp cinnamon

for the glaze:
1 c brown sugar
6 tbspn butter (again, i thought too much. maybe 4 but then you might need to add more water)
2 tbspn water

1. butter two 9x13 baking pans. in food processor combine brown sugar, nuts, cinamon and pinch of salt. pulse unitl coarsely ground. set aside.

2. divide dough in half. working with one half at a time, roll dough out to a 16x10 inch rectangle on a lightly floured work surface. spread some butter over dough, leaving 1/2 inch border all around. sprinkle half the nut mixture over the butter. starting at a long end roll up dough like a jelly roll. with a sharp knife but crosswise into 12 equal pices.

3. place buns, cut sided down, in prepared pans. cover pans loosely with plastic. let stand in warm spot until doubled in size about 1 1/2 hours.

4. preheat oven to 375. bake buns until golden brown about 25-30 minutes. let cool 15 minutes.

5. prepare glaze: in small saucepan heat brown sugar, butter and water over medium stirring until simmering. cook 1 minute. drizzle glaze over buns. let stand 10 minutes before serving.

makes 2 pans so you can freeze the other before the baking process. before you let the rolls rise just wrap the pan and freeze. when you pull it out of the freezer months later let stand for 2 hours to thaw and rise. then bake the same. i baked both pans and put the baked pan into the freezer.

Homemade Granola

Now i'm seriously a hippy! or maybe just 'granola'. anyway, at first i thought this was going to be much more expensive than just buying a bag of granola b/c the individual ingredients seems to be costing a lot. but after i realized i could make several batches out of just buying the ingredients one time i felt better about the cost. and nothing tastes as good as home made, fresh granola with yogurt and fruit! (and a latte of course)

dry ingredients:
5 c rolled oats
2-3 c raw almonds or pecan halves, or a mixture
1 c hulled raw sunflower seeds
3/4 c flax seeds
3/4 c light brown sugar4
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
1 c coconut (if you like it. i do)

wet ingredients:
3/4 c apple sauce, unsweetened
1/3 brown karo corn syrup
1/4 c honey
2 tbpsn vegetable oil

preheat oven to 300

in large bowl combine all of the dry ingredients. stir to mix well, in small bowl combine all of the wet ingredients, stir to mix well. pour the wet over the dry ingredients, and stir well.

spread the mixture evenly over 2 rimmed baking sheets. bake for 35-40 minutes or until evenly golden brown. set a timer to go off every 10-15 minutes while the granola bakes, so you can rotate the pans and give them a good stir. this helps it to cook evenly. when it's ready remove the pans from the oven, stir well- this will keep it from cooking in a hard solid sheet and set aside to cool. the finished granola may still feel slightly soft when it comes out of the oven. but it will crisp as it cools.

store in airtight container or zip top bag.

**after the baking process i also added about 1 cup of dried blueberries to half the mixture and put that in one bag. the other bag i left plain so i can add fresh fruit to that.

Glazed Lemon cookies

This is like a citrus party in your mouth.

2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 2 tbspns fresh lemon juice (you need 2 lemons for this recipe)
1/2 c butter, room temp
1 c granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
lemon glaze (recipe follows)

1. preheat ove to 350. in bowl whisk together flour, b soda, salt and lemon zest. in large bow with mixer beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. add egg, vanilla and lemon juice and beat until combined. beat in flour mixture.

**side note. i've never seen my butter/sugar mixture 'light and fluffy'. it's always grainy and weird. so i just beat it until i feel like not beating it anymore. ha.

2. drop dough by heaping tablespoons 1 inch apart onto 2 baking sheets. bake until edges are golden 15-20 minutes rotating sheets halfway through. let cool 2 minutes on sheeets, then transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely. spread cookies with lemon glaze and let set, about 1 hour.

**another side note: Mom failed to introduce us to the cookie scoop. i just bought one the other day and it has changed my cookie-dropping-by-heaping-tablespoon-life. Mom always used a spoon, which in one regard is nice b/c you get to lick your fingers and absorb a bunch of the cookie dough, which is always a positive. but then your fingers are always kinda sticky. with the cookie scoop the art of dropping cookies by heaping tablespoons and having exactly the same sized cookies is made completely easy. i'm a big fan.

Lemon Glaze:

in medium bowl whisk together 2 c confectioners sugar, 2 tbspn finely grated lemon zest, and 1/3 c fresh lemon juice until smooth.

** i had to keep adding powdered sugar b/c i think i had too much lemon juice. oh well, my cookies are just very glazed and less iced.

I have left over tomatillos from the last recipe, what do i do?

I followed a recipe very loosely by emeril lagasse for his shredded pork taquitos. i made tacos though and just softened up the corn tortillas with a little time in some hot oil before serving.

olive oil
some chicken breasts cut into 2 inch cubes
1 cup chopped onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tomatoe, cut up
4 cups chicken stock
some cilantro leaves

heat oil in large saute pan. add chicken and season with s/p. sear the chicken until browned on both sides. add onions and saute until soft. add garlic and tomatoes and saute until fragrant about 1 minute. season with s/p. add chicken stock and cilantro leaves and bring to boil. cover and reduce to simmer. let simmer about 2 hours, until chicken is very tender.

1/2 lb tomatillos, husks removed and washed
3 cloves garlic
1 red bell pepper
parts of other pepper i had in fridge
1/2 c minced onion
juice of 1 lime
some cilantro leaves

place tomatillos, garlic cloves (unpeeled) and peppers on baking sheet. drizzle with olive oil. season with s/p. place in oven heated to 400 for about 15 minutes, until roasted and browned and softened. remove veggies from oven and place tomatillos in food processor (yay!). squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins into the food processor. add the peppers to the processor along with the onion, lime juice, and cilantro. pulse until mixture is fully incorporated but not pureed. season with s/p.


What would i do without my food processor?!

After. This is what the food processor can do for you!

for the chicken again:

after the 2 hours remove the chicken from the pan and cool. once the meat has cooled enough to handle shred the meat. place the cooking liquid back on the stove and cook over high heat until almost all of the liquid has evaporated. remove from the heat and add the shredded meat.

to serve:
soften corn tortillas up in some veg oil. place line of chicken meat down the center. cover with home made salsa. dab on some sour cream. yummy! serve the salsa with chips or i put the salsa on top of my mexican rice and my salad b/c it was so good.

Grilled cumin chicken with fresh tomatillo sauce

well, these were almost grilled but eric almost lit the house on fire with a fire from the grill. he ran out of lighter fluid so he got some camping fuel from the basement and tried to pour it on the already sorta lit charcoal. i look out the window from the kitchen and see these huge flames coming from our back porch. one of the posts for the back porch roof was lit, and the lighter fluid was on fire in the grass and on the concrete....scary! and then we have the hose hooked up to a timer for the gardens and couldn't get the timer to turn on so we were both a little shook afterwards. luckily the weather also kicked up right then and it started raining huge drops, we finally got the hose on, and everything was okay. at least it made us have the talk about where the fire extinguisher is located in our house and what we might save first in case of fire. i told eric he should never work in an emergency room b/c he doesn't handle emergencies very well. :) so, i sauteed the chicken instead, and it was still delicious!

2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin (that's a pansy amount. i added at least 1 tsp)
1/8 tsp pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 lb tomatillos
1/2 c chicken broth
1/4 c cilantro leaves
1/4 c chopped green onions
2 tbspn lime juice
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 garlice clove, chopped
1 jalapano, seeded and chopped
1/4 tsp salt
cooking spray

1. prepare grill ( don't burn house down) check. ha.
2. combine first 4 ingredients in zip top bag. add chicken. seal and stand for 15 minutes (or do this at the beginning of the day b/c i like to think it will add more flavor. i'm sassy like that :) )

3. discard husks and stems from tomatillos. combine tomatillos and broth in a small saucepan over medium high heat. cover and cook 8 minutes. drain and cool slightly. combine tomatillos, cilantro and next 6 ingredients (through jalapeno) in food processor (yay!). process until smooth.

4. remove chicken from bag. sprinkle evenly with 1/4 tsp salt. place on grill rack coated with cooking spray. grill 6 minutes on each side until done. serve with tomatillo sauce.

some fresh dessert for afterwards!

spanish oranges for dessert

did you ever have these while in spain? maybe it was just a valencia thing but this is one of my most favorite sweet, healthy desserts. it is so light and tastes so delicious, you almost feel like a healthy mediterranean euro after eating it.

simply peel the orange. slice horizontally into 1/4 inch slices. sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. yum!!!

Chicken Sandwiches with Cilantro Lime Mayo

Chicken Sandwiches with cilantro-lime mayo

1/4 c mayo
2 tbspn chopped cilantro
1 tsp fresh lime juice
1 garlice clove, minced

1/4 cup egg substitute (this is from cooking light and they always suggest this stuff and i never use it. i just use the amt of eggs i think equals their amt of substitute. in this case i think it was 2.
3 tbspn hot sauce (such as tabasco)
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
4 1/4 oz tortilla chips (about 6 cups)
2 tbspn olive oil

remaining ingredients:
4 kaiser rolls
12 red onion slices
lettuce leaves

1. to prepare mayo: combine the first 4 ingredients.

2. to prepare chicken: combine egg substitue, hot sauce, oreganoe and salt in a large zip top plastic bag. cut chicken breast halves in half horizontally to form 4 cutlets. add chicken to bag and seal. marinate in fridge for 2 hours or up to 8, turning occasionally.

3. place tortilla chips in food processor (yay!) process 1 minute until ground. place ground chips in shallow dish.

4. working with one cutlet at a time, remove chicken from marinade allowing excess to drip off. coat chicken completely in chips. set aside. repeat procedure with remaining chicken and chips.

5. heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat. add olive oil to pan swirling to coat. add chickne to pan, cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned and done. spread mayo evenly over cut sides of rolls. layer bottom half of each roll with 3 onion slices, 1 lettuce leaf and 1 chicken cutlet, top with halves of rolls.

i made some sauteed potato slices to go with this. simply thinly slice a potato, and add them to a pan with some hot olive oil, sprinkle with s/p. let them get good and browned on one side, then flip the whole thing over and let that side get browned. you can layer them with onions if you like, as in layer of potatoes down, s/p, layer of onions, layer of potatoes, s/p, layer of onions. and them flip them that way. sever with ketchup.

Resurrected Lentil Burger

This was just so good when I made it again I had to post to bring it to the surface.

Mediterranean Veggie Burger with mint-yogurt sauce and carrot salad

4 medium carrots
3 tbspn fresh lemon juice
3 tabspn olive oil
4 scallions, thinly sliced
5 whole wheat ham buns
1 can 915 oz) lentils, rinsed and drained
1 large egg
1/4 c thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
1/2 c plain yogurt

1. in a food processor fittd with shredding disk shred carrots. transfer to medium bowl. toss with 2 tbspn lemon juice, 1 tbspn oil, and half the scallions. season with s/p. set aside

2. wipe food processor clean. fit with chopping blade. process 1 bun until finely ground. add lentils, egg, half the mint, 1 tsp salt, 3/4 tsp pepper and remaining scallions. pulse just until combined.

3. dividing evenly shape the mixture into four 3 1/2 inch patties. in large skillet heat remaining 2 tsbpn oil ove medium. cook burgers until browned and firm 4-5 minutes per side.

4. in small bowl combine yogurt, remaining mint, and remaining tbspn lemon juice. season with s/p. place burgers on buns and top with yogurt sauce and lettuce. sever with carrot salad.

** i bought a food processor off of KSL for $25! and my goodness, i don't know what i did without it before! i've used it almost every day. it's a wonderful gadget,a nd it isn't that hard to clean so having to wash another machine hasn't bothered me. i put the carrot salad on top of lettuce and served it that way. it was delicious!