Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bulgar Salad

Bulgur with roasted red peppers, chickpeas, and spinach (from everyday Food):

1 c bulgur
2 red bell peppers
1/2 plus 2 T olive oil
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and patted dry
2 c baby spinach

1. bring 2 cups water to a boil and add bulgur. remove from heat and saok until tender, about 30 minutes. drain in a fine mesh sieve, pressing to remove as much liquid as possible; transfer bulgur to a large bowl.

2. while bulgur is soaking, roast peppers under broiler, turning frequently with tongs, until blackened on all sides, about 8 minutes. place in a bowl, tightly cover with plastic wrap. let cool. peel off charred skins; discard seeds and stems. chop peppers into 3/4 inch pieces. reserve any juices.

3. in a small sauce pan, heat 1/2 c olive oil over medium high heat. in batches, fry chickpeas until golden brown and lightly crisp, about 3 minutes per batch. drain on paper towels and season immediately with coarse salt.

4. add chickpeas, peppers, and reserved juices, spinach, and 2 T olive oil to bowl with bulgur and toss. season with salt and pepper.

We had this with some balsamic vinegar and olive oil dipping sauce for a baguette. it was great!

I am thinking, "what is bulgur again?". it's a whole grain wheat! nutty in flavor with a good bite.

Roasted Tomato Tortilla Soup

From cooking light:

5 medium tomatoes, cut in half
2 anaheim chilis
7 slices onion
2 large garlic cloves
8 white corn tortillas, cut into half inch strips
1 T cilantro
2 t cumin
1/2 t sugar
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
3 (14 oz) cans chicken broth
1/2 c diced avocado
1/2 c queso fresco

(i didn't have any queso fresco so we used regular cheddar. it was still great)

1. preheat broiler

2. arrange tomatoes, cut sides down, on a foil lined baking sheet. cut chiles in half lengthwise, discard seeds and membranes. place chiles, skin sides up, on baking sheet. flatten with hand. broil 15 minutes or until blackened. remove from oven; let stand 15 minutes. peel tomatoes and chiles; place in a small bowl. place onion and garlic on baking sheet; lightly coat with cooking spray. broil 20 minutes or until browned, turning after 10 minutes. add onion and garlic to tomatoes in bowl. discard foil.

3. arrange tortilla strips on baking sheet in single layer, coat with cooking spray lightly. broil 9 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

4. place tomatoes, chiles, onion, and garlic in a food processor. processs 1 minute until blended. spoon tomato mixture into a large saucepan; cook over medium heat 2 minutes stirring constantly. reduce heat to low; cook 6 minutes stirring occasionally. stir in cilantro and the next 5 ingredients (through broth). bring to a boil. cover reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

serve each topped with tortilla strips, avocado, and cheese.
i think adding rotisserie chicken to this would be a nice touch and heartier. it was delicious!

and, for dessert, i had chocolate chip cookies in the freezer so we whipped up a little sandwich:
I whipped some heavy cream and spread between two cookies. place them in the freezer for about 1/2 hour (we went for a nice walk around the block) and when you pull them out they are hardened and taste just like an ice cream sandwich! yum!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Muesli Bars

I would call these 'Energy Bars' more than just muesli bars. This is also from hummingbird bakery. They are delicious and packed with energy. I wrapped them individually in saran wrap and we took them into the yurt last weekend. They are perfect as a snack. They are packed with nuts, dried fruit, and cereal. You can also substitute your favorite ingredients.

2 Sticks plus 6 T butter (this is why they are so good!)
1 c light corn syrup
1 c packed light brown sugar
2 c rolled oats
1 1/3 c dried coconut
3/4 c dried apricots, finely chopped
1/3 c dried dates, chopped
1 1/4 c corn flakes
3/4 c sunflower seeds (i used pumpkin seeds)
1/2 c dried cranberries
3/4 c walnuts, chopped
3/4 c raisens

Line a 13x9 pan with parchment paper.

Put butter, corn syrup, and sugar in a large sauce pan over medium heat and heat until melted and smooth, stirring occasionally.

Put oats, coconut, apricots, dates, cornflakes, sunflower seeds, cranberries, walnuts, raisens in a large bowl and stir until combined. Pour in the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until everything is well mixed and the dry ingredients are evenly dispersed.

Press this mixture into the prepared baking pan, using a tablespoon to flatten and compress it. cover with a sheet of parchment paper, then a tray covered in jam jars or cans to apply pressure on the cake and compress it. let cool, then refrigerate overnight.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Step Over Coffee Shops

These cupcakes are as good if not better than any i've ever eaten at coffee shops and bakeries. i'm so proud of them! if/when i start my own bakery this will definitely be on the menu!

Red Velvet Cupcakes from the Hummingbird Bakery

4 T butter, room temp
3/4 c sugar
1 egg
2 1/2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
3 T red food coloring
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/2 c buttermilk
1 c plus 2 T flour
1/2 t baking soda
1 1/2 t distilled white vinegar
1 quantity cream cheese frosting (below)

preheat oven 325.

Put butter and sugar in electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy and well mixed. turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the egg and beat until everything is well incorporated.

in separate bowl, mix together the cocoa, red food coloring, and vanilla to make a very thick, dark paste. add to the butter mixture and mix throoughly until evenly combined and colored. turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly pour in half the buttermilk. beat until well mixed, then add half the flour and beat until everything is well incorporated. repeate this process until all the buttermilk and flour have been added. scrape down the side of the bowl. turn the mixer upt o high speed and beat until you have a smooth, even batter. turn the mixer down to low speed and add the baking soda and vinegar. beat until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.

spoon the batter into paper cases in 12 hole cupcake pan until 2/3 full. bake for 20-25 minutes until tester comes out clean. let cupckaes cool slightly in the pan before turning out onto wire rack. cool completely.

**i'm finding that things have to bake longer in my pampered chef stoneware. does that ever happen to you?

cream cheese frosting

2 1/3 c powdered sugar
3 T butter, room temp
4 oz cream cheese, cold

beat powdered sugar and butter together in mixer on medium slow speed until mixture comes together and is well mixed. add cream cheese all at once and beat unitl it is completely incorporated. turn the mixer up to medium high speed and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

** used pampered chef icing thingie and LOVED it! i can't believe how well the plunger worked with no mess. i can't believe i used those old fashioned hand tubes for so long. that's one of the best purchases ever. now all my cupcakes will be p retty!

Another Fabulous Pork REcipe

Pork with Pomegranate Pan Sauce
from cooking light

1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cumin
1/4 t black pepper
4 (4oz) boneless center-cut pork loin chops
2 t olive oil
1/3 c shopped shallots
3/4 c pomegranate juice
1 T sugar
1 T balsamic vinegar

1. combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl; sprinkle over pork chops

2. heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. add pork chops; cook 3 minutes on each side. remove and keep warm. add shallots to pan; cook 45 seconds, stirring constantly. add juice, 1 T sugar, and vinegar; bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes or until slightly thick. serve pork with sauce.

Serve with:

Sour Cream Mashed POtatoes
make potatoes like you normally would for mashed potatoes. add sour cream, salt, pepper, milk or cream, garlic powder, butter, minced chives, etc.


Garlic Green Beans
steam 1 package frozen green beans. heat large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. melt 1 T butter in pan. add 3 thinly sliced garlic cloves. saute 2 minutes until golden brown. add beans, salt, pepper cook 2 minutes until heated.