Monday, July 29, 2013

Quick Chocolate Fix - strawberries and cream

Sometimes that chocolate craving creeps up quick. I looked in the fridge and came up with a quick and easy and not too unhealthy solution... I had heavy cream in the fridge, I added a little coco powder and powdered sugar and whipped it up into chocolate whipped cream then dipped some fresh strawberries in it. Quick, tasty and took care of that chocolate craving.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Coconut Chia Desert

When I first read about this "pudding" my mind went to a texture like, well, does not have that thickness but it is a quick delicious desert and the recipe can be found on the back of Trader Joe's Chia Seed packages

1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup coconut milk
up to 1/4 cup sweetener - honey, maple syrup or agave
Feel free to add some additional flavors too like vanilla extract and fruit purees

Mix everything together and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before eating. Adjust the amount of 'sweetener' depending on how sweet you would like it.

I also tried pureeing and mixing in some blueberries which was also good. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

no cook Blueberry Chia Jam

I came across a recipe for a raw blueberry blackberry jam. Apparently blueberries are high in pectin so that combined with the jelling property of chia seeds when added to liquid makes for a quick and easy jam. 

Here's all you need:
1 generous cup of blueberries
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 Tablespoon Chia seeds

Throw it all in a food processor until well blended, then put it in a jar in the fridge. 
After an hour it will start to thicken. 

Since I don't usually have bread in the house instead of using this fresh, raw jam on toast I've been opting to put it in my yoghurt in the mornings with a little homemade granola for extra crunch. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sweet & Savory Pop Tarts

I tried a Pop Tart the other day. I ate one out of a package and about 10 minutes later felt like I needed to lie down and take a nap. I like the idea, a quick grab and go bite, but it did not give me the get up and go energy I was hoping for it seemed to give a quick rush and big crash so I decided to look up a pop tart recipe and tried out one I found on Smitten Kitchen

I think once you find a pastry recipe you like the next step is playing with fillings and frosting if you want it (I didn't attempt it this time). I liked the pastry dough so I'm excited to try these again with some more filling experiments. 

My biggest challenge was that it's 90 degrees, I do not have air conditioning so it was a hot day for the dough which made things a bit more sticky and not those perfect rectangles you imagine. 

First step was to make the dough
Whisk together 
2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
with a fork mix in 
1 cup of butter
in a small bowl beat together
1 egg
2 Tablespoons milk 
once the egg is well mixed add it in to the other mixture, now you have your dough! Stick it in the fridge while you get your fillings ready 

For fillings I used some left overs I had - a jar of fig jam, some chocolate chips, arugula pesto with feta

Roll out the dough and cut into rectangles
beat an egg
Brush what will be the inside bottom of the pop tart with egg
add filling
put top on, the egg will help to seal it, press around the sides with a fork and use the fork to poke holes in the top, I used different patterns based on the different fillings
Put pop tarts on parchment lined baking sheets and place in the fridge 
turn the oven on to 350, when it's preheated put the pop tarts right in the oven and cook for 20 minutes

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Golumpki & Latkes for Dinner

We went up to New Hampshire today to spend the day with my husband's grandmother. We went out for lunch and a lovely walk and then headed to the grocery store. I've heard both of them talk about a Polish stuffed cabbage dish that I had never heard of. I decided today was the day to try it out, so I looked up a recipe, picked up the groceries and Gram and I cooked golumpki. And some latkes for good measure. Not the best summer dish but I look forward to trying it out again in the fall.

head cabbage - I used savoy
2T butter
clove of garlic
2 cups cooked rice
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1 T dried parsley flakes
salt & pepper
1 green pepper - chopped small
2 celery stalks- chopped small
4 cups tomato puree
green apple - chopped

Prepare the cabbage: core the cabbage, bring water to boil in a pot, add the cabbage and every 2 minutes pull off the outer leaves and set aside, don't discard the cooking water, reserve the outer leaves to line the bottom of the cooking pot

Prepare the stuffing: in a frying pan, melt the butter, cook the onion and garlic until soft
mix together onion, garlic, meat, parsley, salt, pepper, green pepper and celery

Line the bottom of a large pot with the biggest cabbage leaves
Stuff the remaining cabbage leaves by putting  spoonful of filling in the center, folding up the stem, folding in the sides and then rolling the leaf so the stuffing is enclosed
Add stuffed leaves to the pot
Once all leaves are stuffed and in the pot add tomato puree and 2 cups of reserved cabbage cooking liquid so that liquid covers the cabbage and the apple
Turn the heat on high and bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat, let simmer for an hour

2 large russet potatoes
1 shallot - finely chopped
1 egg - beaten
1T flour
salt and pepper

grate the potato, squeeze all the moisture out of it, mix shallot, flour, salt, pepper and egg
form into patties and fry in vegetable oil

Serve Golumpki & Latkes with sour cream
Also on my plate pictured was broccoli rabe to get some good greens in too

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Italian Inspired Bread Salad - panzanella

I had some left over french bread which was getting really hard and wanted to do something with it instead of throwing it away. I remembered that there is an Italian bread salad so I looked up some recipes and added my own twist.

I don't have exact amounts of ingredients, just added things until the portions looked right to me
day old french bread - cut into cubes
tomatoes - cut into cubes
cucumber - cut into cubes
red onion - cut into cubes
can fava beans
homemade basil pesto because I did not have fresh basil
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

toss everything together and let sit a few minutes for the bread to soften

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Arepas - uses for left over corn

I had some left over grilled corn and was trying to figure out how to use it. After looking in to a few options, corn cakes, corn soup... I decided on arepas

Mix together
1 cup cornmeal, like you'd use for tamales or tortillas 
1/2 cup grated cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt

Finely chop and mix together
4 scallions - I used a mix of scallions and chives because I didn't have enough scallions in my garden
1/4 cup cilantro
1 ear of corn - I used a left over grilled ear 
1 jalapeno 

On the stove bring 
1 cup of milk to a simmer and add
2 Tablespoons of butter once it's melted turn off the heat
Mix in the cornmeal mixture, once mixed 
add the other mixture 
let dough sit, if it's not sticking you can add a little more milk

Form dough into small disks
Heat oil in a frying pan, add dough disks and fry until golden 

Usually you'd split arepas and fill them, these didn't really split, so I topped them. You can top them with whatever sounds good to you, I used beans and quick chopped veggies topped with avocado. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

angel food cupcakes with red white and blue

Happy 4th of July! 
What better way to celebrate than with some red white and blue? So I made angel food cupcakes to layer with whipping cream, strawberries and blueberries. 

3/4 cup & 2 Tablespoons superfine sugar
1/2 cup cake flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 egg whites (room temperature)
2 1/2 Tablespoons warm water
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract (or other flavor extract like vanilla or almond)
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Sift together half of the sugar, flour and salt
Whip together egg whites, water, extract and cream of tartar as it starts to stiffen add remaining half of the sugar in until stiff peaks form
fold in the flour mixture, a little at a time, until it is all incorporated

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes

When you're ready to eat, slice the cupcakes and layer in whipping cream and fruits. These won't last long put together so put everything together right before you're ready to serve. 

I made the cupcakes in the morning and then we put them together and enjoyed them as a post fireworks treat.