Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

I don't remember what I was searching for when I stumbled upon a recipe for pizza made with a cauliflower crust, but I'm glad I found it. I really enjoyed it and my 4 year old didn't seem to notice that it wasn't made of real pizza dough. She wasn't crazy about the bruschetta topping I put on, but she did eat the olives and the crust. I put the olives on just for her.

The instructions for this recipe stated that you should grate the cauliflower raw, but I already had some steamed stuff leftover. I used a fork to mash it up when it was still cold. The crust wasn't crispy (and I'm not sure if it was supposed to be) but it was like holding a real piece of pizza.

Getting ready to go into the oven.

Mix up all this good stuff.

It doesn't have to be a perfect circle. Make a heart if you want.

The one on the left is Greek oregano.

This is the topping.

The crust is out of the oven. Maybe it could have been a bit more brown.

All done.

1 pizza

Ingredients
Crust
1 1/2 cups leftover cauliflower (mine was steamed)
1 egg
1/3 cup grated cheese (I used mozzarella-cheddar blend and grated Parmesan)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Bruschetta Topping
1/4 cup diced tomato
1/8 cup minced red onion
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
black pepper
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup shredded cheese (I used the same as in the crust)

Directions
Preheat your oven to 450F and line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a bowl, mash the cauliflower so it looks almost like rice. Stir in the egg, spices and cheese.

Spread the mixture onto the prepared pan evenly in a thin layer. Bake it for 15 minutes or until golden.

While the crust is baking, prepare the bruschetta topping. Mix together tomatoes, onion, garlic, spices, oil and vinegar in a small bowl.

Remove the crust from the oven and spread the topping on. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of cheese on top.

Place the pizza back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes until the cheese has melted.

Tip: You can really put any toppings on that you like. Just don't cut them too big or too thick because the cooking time is short. You could totally load this up with toppings and cheese if you wanted to, but I was trying to be good.

Adapted from RECIPE girl.


Linking to Recipe of The Week : Secret Ingredient Cheese

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Rachael Ray's Spinach Artichoke Ricotta Pie

Here's another recipe that you (and I) don't want to know the calorie count on.

If you don't like artichokes I would imagine you could use 2 boxes of spinach instead. You could even replace the ricotta with feta. We didn't really read the directions on this, my mom just tried to make it from memory after watching it on TV so I think we may have made a mistake and mixed in the breadcrumbs at the wrong time. We ended up with little spots of breadcrumbs within the pie. It was still delicious though so who cares!

Make sure you get the canned or frozen artichokes, not the marinated or pickled ones.

The ricotta we used was not the kind in a tub, it was in a package and we had to crumble it up. I'm pretty sure my mom picked up the wrong kind because in the video, Rachael was scooping hers out of the container.






6-8 servings

Ingredients
5 tablespoons butter, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced

1 egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup soft, unripened ricotta, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
1 10-ounce box frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed
1 14-ounce can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
4 12x17 sheets phyllo dough, defrosted


Directions
Preheat the oven to 400F.

In a pan over medium high heat, place 1 tablespoon of the butter and fry the onions and garlic for about 5 minutes or until soft. Set aside to cool.

In a bowl, combine the egg and breadcrumbs. Stir in all the other ingredients (except phyllo) including the cooked onions and garlic.

Melt the remaining butter for a few seconds in the microwave. Take a 9x13 glass baking dish and brush it all over with some of the butter.

Layer the sheets of phyllo into the dish with some hanging over all the edges. Brush the bottom and sides of the phyllo with butter then place the filling in the dish. Spread it around evenly.

Wrap the phyllo that's hanging over the edges of the dish, over the filling. Rachael wants you to leave it looking rustic. Why not! Add a few extra ripples while you're at it then brush it with even more butter!

Bake it for about 25 minutes or until golden on top. Let it rest for a few minutes before cutting it up.

If you want to make it the proper way, you can get the recipe and watch the video on the Rachael Ray Show website. We should have done this before we made it.

Banana Avocado Sticky Pudding

Okay, so I was trying to do something with brown bananas other than banana bread and I decided I'd try to make brownies. It didn't really work out. I've never made (or even tasted) a sticky pudding but this is what I imagine the texture to be like, so I'm going to call this a sticky pudding. Maybe an extra half cup of flour would do the trick and turn these into brownies?

And is it just me or does the combination of avocado and banana smell and taste like cherry? My mom agrees with me. I was searching for something cherry in the kitchen and came to the conclusion that the smell could only be coming from the batter. That didn't change as it was baking or when it was done. Maybe we're just a little crazy. You decide if we're right if you decide make them. They were tasty even with the sticky texture, and you can't taste the avocado.

I mashed the avocado and the banana but you could probably puree them. It may change the texture even more though.


I guess I could have taken the sticker off the avocado. Oops.

Makes 15 squares

Ingredients
1/4 cup 2% milk
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 large bananas ripe
1 medium ripe avocado
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9x13 glass dish with parchment and grease it up a little.

In a bowl, whisk together the milk, sugar, vanilla and eggs until well mixed. Add the bananass and avocado and mix well again.

Sift the dry ingredients into the wet and stir with a rubber spatula just until combined.

Pour the mix into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool before cutting into squares. I got 15 but you could make bigger or smaller squares if you want.

Chocolate Molten Cakes

When he said don't bake them more than 10 minutes there was a reason and he was right. Mine were over baked. Oh well, they still tasted great! I used semi-sweet chocolate though because that's what I had on hand. I also only made 1/2 the recipe because I didn't want to have to eat more than that.


Even after the extra 3 minutes I gave them, they looked like they'd be okay, but they weren't this runny just a few minutes later when we went to eat them. You wouldn't think 3 minutes would make that much of a difference but it does.

You can see they're almost fully cooked. Darn. Next time, 3 minutes less.
(sorry the photo is crappy, I'm not a pro at this)

4 servings

Ingredients
4 ounces semi sweet chocolate
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
2 eggs
1/8 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
butter for greasing ramekins
white sugar for sprinkling on ramekins


Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Rub butter all over the inside of the ramekins then sprinkle them with sugar. Tap out any extra sugar.

Microwave the chocolate and butter for about 45 seconds or until they're melted and you can mix them together.  Stir in the cocoa until smooth. Let it cool slightly.

The recipe said to mix the eggs, sugar and vanilla until thick and smooth? Did this mean I was supposed to whip it? I just beat it for a minute with a wooden spoon. It didn't seem that thick but it was smooth so I went with it.

Stir the chocolate into the egg mixture until well combined, then divide the mixture between the 4 prepared ramekins.

Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes. That should be enough time for 4 of them. They will look like they need more time (I thought so too) so I left them another 3 minutes. 3 minutes too long. They still looked a bit runny in the middle when I took them out, but when we went to eat them a few minutes later they were hardly runny at all. Just take them out at 8 minutes okay?

Serve them warm. You can put ice cream or whipped cream on top if you wish, but the cake itself had too many calories as it is. I don't even know what the calculation would be and I don't want to!

Adapted from Chef Michael Smith.

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

I love butter chicken. So far each restaurant I've eaten it from tastes different. This time I bought some chicken thighs and I wanted to do something in the slow cooker. I came across this recipe for slow cooker butter chicken and decided I would give it a try. The only problem is I wrote the recipe on paper and didn't save the link so I can't post my source. If I do find it again, I will update.

I decided to just drop the cardamom pods in because I have no cheesecloth and there's no way I'm gonna stand around threading cardamom. I'll take the time later to fish out the pods.  I also took it easy on the curry paste. I know from the curry I made this week that any more than 1/2 a teaspoon would be too much for my kids.

I used 1/2 a can of coconut milk and 1/2 cup of 2% because I only had half a can left. If you want, just use a whole can of coconut milk and skip the 2%.


6 servings

Ingredients
12 skinless chicken thighs (I left the bones on)
1 medium red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
10 green cardamom pods
2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon curry paste
2 teaspoon tandoori masala
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup 2% milk
1 cup low fat sour cream
1/3 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Directions
Mix all the ingredients except the chicken and onions.

Place the chicken and onions in the slow cooker, and pour the sauce over. Stir it to get the chicken all coated. Cook for 4-6 hours on high or 8 hours on low. If the sauce is a little thin, put it in a pot  on medium heat and let it simmer for a bit until it thickens to your liking.

Serve with rice or naan.

Greek Marinated Chicken Breasts

Ever since I made Lime and Chile Chicken with Mango and Red Bell Pepper Salsa from Kalyn's Kitchen, I decided that I might cut slits in my chicken from now on, it really allows the marinade to get into the chicken.

This time I came up with a Greek marinade. We put it on the barbecue and it was SO good! Another delicious marinated chicken recipe for my collection!

Mmm doesn't it look good?

Here it is marinating in the bag.
5 servings

Ingredients
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons low fat plain yogurt
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon Greek seasoning blend (I used Club House)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Greek oregano
5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Directions
Mix all the marinade ingredients and place them in a large Ziploc bag. Put the chicken in the bag and smush it around coating it with the marinade. It won't seem like enough marinade but it really is. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

You can grill it, bake it, fry it ... it's up to you.

Beefy Taco Macaroni

This was originally called Hamburger Buddy. I added a packet of taco seasoning, added some red peppers and re-named it to something that didn’t include “Buddy”. I wasn't crazy about the name of the recipe but I love the hidden veggies as usual!



6 servings

Ingredients
3 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
2 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 large onion, cut into 2-inch pieces
8 ounces white mushrooms, chopped

1/2 a red pepper, finely chopped
1lb lean ground beef
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 packet taco seasoning mix
2 cups water
1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium beef broth, divided
8 ounces whole-wheat elbow noodles, (2 cups)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, or chives for garnish


Directions
Run the garlic, carrots and onions through a food processor until finely minced. You can do the mushrooms too but I chopped mine by hand because I like them a bit chunkier.

Over medium high heat, brown the meet in a large pot or pan for about 3 to 5 minutes or until cooked through. Stir in the veggie mix, mushrooms, peppers, thyme and taco seasoning. Cook for another 5 or so minutes until the vegetables start to soften.

Stir in water, 1 1/2 cups broth, noodles and Worcestershire sauce. Bring it to a boil then reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook until the pasta is tender. Be sure to stir it once in awhile.

Whisk the flour with the remaining 1/4 cup broth until smooth; stir into the hamburger mixture then add the sour cream. Simmer, stirring often, until the sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes.

Taste it and add salt and pepper if needed. Sometimes the taco seasoning can be salty enough. Garnish with parsley.

Adapted from Eating Well.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Greta's Miracle Brownies

This recipe is from the book I bought earlier this week The Looneyspoons Collection. It was called Greta's Gluten-Free Miracle Brownies. But I don't have any gluten-free flour blend so I used regular flour. I guess they're no longer gluten-free. And would you believe there's pumpkin puree in these? There is but you can't taste it! I won't tell my kids. They gobbled these up. They were chewy, almost fudgy and because I wanted to send a piece to school I left out the nuts (schools here are nut free). If you want to add nuts, 1/3 cup chopped walnuts would be great.

These were 110 calories per slice (according to the book) with the nuts.



16 squares

Ingredients
1/2 cup all purpose (or gluten-free) flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (optional)
1/3 cup nuts (optional)

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350F and line an 8x8 glass dish with parchment. Spray on some cooking spray as well just in case.

Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, beat together sugar, pumpkin, butter, egg and vanilla with a whisk until well combined. Add dry mixture to the wet and stir to combine. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

Spread the batter evenly in the baking dish and bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting into 16 squares.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf

I almost had another disaster in the kitchen tonight. This was a recipe for Buffalo Chicken Meatballs. I spent all that time rolling little meatballs but when I went to put it in the oven somehow the pan tipped sideways onto the door of my oven.

The good news is that the meatballs miraculously got rolled up in the parchment that I was wise enough to line the pan with. So I was able to save it! But I wasn't about to roll it into balls again so I just pressed the mixture into an 8x8 glass dish and now I'm calling it meatloaf. A very delicious meatloaf! Obviously, you can make meatballs with this instead if you want to. Also, I'm sure you could get away with adding a little more wing sauce. I wasn't sure how spicy it would turn out and I wanted to give some to my kids. Go for 1/3 cup as the original recipe suggests.


You can see how it's coming away from the sides when it's cooked.


6 servings

Ingredients
2 tablespoons melted butter, cooled
1/4 cup buffalo wing sauce
1/4 cup minced celery
1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 egg
1lb ground chicken

Direction
Preheat the oven to 450F and line a 8x8 glass dish with a piece of parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together except chicken. Once mixed, add the chicken and use your hands to combine.

Put the chicken mixture into your dish and bake for about 25 minutes or until cooked through. Meatballs will take less time.

Let it rest for about 5 minutes before cutting into 6 slices and serving.

Adapted from My Italian Grandmother.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tea Sandwiches (strawberry, cucumber, chicken)

We had a little tea party last night only we had ginger ale instead of tea. I served some strawberry tea sandwiches, cucumber tea sandwiches, chicken tea sandwiches and fruit on a beautiful tiered serving platter that our friend Pavlina brought me all the way from Macedonia. I'll have to buy a small tea pot and maybe next time we WILL have tea with our sandwiches.

The only issue I had with these sandwiches is that I forgot to buy thin bread so I used regular bread. it was too much bread. Be sure to buy the thin kind. And I used grilled chicken breast but you could probably use chicken from the deli.


I wish you could see the platter better. It's really pretty.





Ingredients
Strawberry Sandwiches
2 slices of bread
2 medium strawberries, sliced
1 tablespoon softened cream cheese
1 teaspoon strawberry jam
Cucumber Sandwiches
2 slices of bread
about 10 thin slices of English cucumber
1 tablespoon softened cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
Chicken Sandwiches
2 slices of bread
2 oz cooked chicken, sliced
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon wing sauce (or hot sauce)

Directions
To assemble the strawberry sandwiches, first mix the cream cheese and jam until well combined. Spread it over the bread and top with strawberry slices. Don't go right to the edge because after placing the other slice of bread on top, you will use a serrated knife to cut off the crusts. Cut into 4 or 8 triangles. Use toothpicks if you like. I was serving these to my kids. Toothpicks were not a good idea. Maybe for older children or adults.

To assemble the cucumber sandwiches, mix the cream cheese with dill, onion powder and granulated garlic. Spread onto the bread and top with cucumbers. Place the other slice on top and cut off the crusts. Cut into 4 or 8 triangles.

To assemble the chicken sandwiches, mix the mayo and hot sauce. Spread over the bread and top with chicken slices. Put the other slice of bread on and cut off the crusts. Cut into 4 or 8 triangles.

I got the idea for these from Fun Tea Party Ideas.

Thai Red Curry SPICY!

Wow, this red curry paste I bought was very spicy. I think if you served this curry with rice it would tone it down a bit but I'm trying not to eat too much rice so I'll try it with yogurt tomorrow for lunch. I tasted it tonight after I made it and I can't tell if it was the heat or the HEAT that burned my tongue.

I didn't have lime leaves so I used cilantro (which I picked up by accident thinking it was parsley). I'm growing to like it I suppose. It was never my favourite herb but it seems to work really well with this curry. It was also my first time using fish sauce. It stinks! But you can't tell it's in there. Kinda like anchovies in your Caesar salad. Also, I had beansprouts which I was going to use in a Chinese stir fry this weekend but I forgot to put them in so I went and used them in this recipe otherwise they would have ended up in the trash.
  


2 servings

Ingredients
1 teaspoon canola oil
2 teaspoons red curry paste
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup snow peas, cut into pieces
1/2 cup carrots, cut into pieces
1/4 cup water
2 cups beansprouts
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon fish sauce
200ml (6-7oz) coconut milk
4-5 oz chopped cooked chicken breast
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Directions
In a large pan, heat the oil over medium high heat. Cook the curry paste in the oil for just a minute stirring constantly.

Add the mushrooms, snow peas and carrots and stir to coat with the curry paste. Stir in the water and cook for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally until they soften a bit.

Add the beansprouts and stir. Sprinkle the sugar on top followed by the fish sauce and coconut milk. Stir well. Add the chicken (mine was leftover grilled) and simmer for a few minutes until the sauce thickens slightly and the chicken is heated through.

Stir in cilantro before serving.

Adapted from RASAMALAYSIA.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Greek Pasta

This is another one of those super quick pasta dishes. It really only takes minutes to prepare aside from cooking the pasta. If you're not counting calories, you can add a little more oil.


2 servings

Ingredients
2 cups cooked pasta
1 tomato, diced
6 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 teaspoons olive oil
salt
pepper
1 teaspoon Greek oregano
lemon wedges

Directions
Mix all of the ingredients together. You can serve this hot or cold with a squeeze of lemon.


Linking to
Gooseberry Patch : Meatless Meals

Mini Feta and Spinach Crustless Quiche Muffins

I like quiche. I like feta. These were great. I forgot to put the greek seasoning in the mixture so I just sprinkled some on top before baking and it was nice. Next time I'll try mixing it into the beaten eggs.






Makes 12 quiches

Ingredients
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup frozen, thawed and sqeezed spinach
1/2 cup crumbled feta
4 large eggs
1/2 cup 2% milk
salt
pepper
Greek seasoning blend

Directions
In a frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cook the mushrooms and onions in the oil for about 5 minutes or until they become golden. If the pan gets too dry, add a tiny splash of water. If you're not trying to lose weight, add butter!!!

Add the spinach to the pan and cook for just a minute. Allow this mixture to cool for about 10 minutes while you preheat your oven to 400F and grease up your muffin pan.

In a bowl, beat together your eggs, milk, salt, pepper and seasoning blend (or save this and sprinkle it on the top if you want).

Divide the spinach mixture among the 12 muffin cups. Divide the egg mixture (it'll take about 1/4 cup each). Bake for about 10 minutes or until cooked through. Test them with a tootpick. They're great for reheating. I haven't tried to freeze them.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Lime and Chile Chicken with Mango and Red Bell Pepper Salsa

I really loved this marinade! I took Kalyn's advice and made slits in the chicken before marinating. The salsa was also fabulous! I cut the recipe in half  for the marinade because I only wanted to marinate 2 chicken breasts but I made the full recipe of salsa. Kalyn's chicken looks more red and I think that's probably due to the chile powder she used.



Coated in marinade. You can see the slits.
Make sure you get some marinade in there.

2 servings

Ingredients
Chicken
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 lime, juice and zest
1 teaspoon chile powder
1/2 teaspoon grated garlic (or minced)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Mango Salsa
1 mango, diced
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup diced sweet red bell pepper
2 tablespoons chopped parsley or cilantro
juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (I used Sriracha)

Directions
Cut slits in the chicken breast if desired, about 1/2 way through is fine. Mix all of the marinade ingredients together and coat the chicken with it. You can do this in a resealable container or a baggie. Refrigerate for several hours (mine was in for about 20 hours).

I cooked mine in a grill pan over medium high heat. About 8-10 minutes per side or until cooked through. You can use the barbecue, George Foreman Grill or just a regular pan. Serve with mango salsa.

For salsa, combine all the ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.

Adapted from Kalyn's Kitchen.


Linking To
Recipe of the Week : Anything BBQ

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Eat, Shrink & Be Merry - Peanut Better (butter) Gingersnap Cookies

I have a few books by these ladies (Janet & Greta Podleski) I used nutmeg instead of allspice originally listed in the recipe. These were delicious and chewy! Mine don't look as crinkled as theirs, but they were just as chewy I'm sure! You can also find the recipe online (I posted the link below the recipe) and according to their calculations, they're 108 calories per cookie, which is a little high but I suppose better than your average peanut butter cookie. Just eat one okay?


Makes 20 cookies

Ingredients
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1/3 cup light peanut butter
3 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons molasses
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions
Preheat oven to 350F and line cookie sheets with parchment.

In a bowl, stir together both flours, baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Set aside. Combine granulated sugar and remaining 1 tsp cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.

In another bowl, beat together brown sugar, peanut butter and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 1 minute. Add molasses, egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.

Using a wooden spoon, stir flour mixture into peanut butter mixture. The dough will be stiff. Roll the dough into balls about 1" or so then roll them in the cinnamon sugar. Place on cookie sheet 2" apart and flatten slightly with a fork. They spread quite a bit.

Bake for 7 minutes then remove from the oven. Let them sit for a minute before transferring to a wire rack. Like any good chewy cookie, they will look like they're not fully cooked when you take them out. Don't be tempted to put them back in. They'll be perfect by the time they're cool.

Adapted from Eat, Shrink & Be Merry.

Banana, Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Cookies

Can you believe there is no added sugar, no flour, no eggs and no added fat to these? They are tasty although the texture is a bit chewy.

I used chocolate chips and walnuts because I didn't have the sunflower seeds and dates that the recipe called for, but this could be nut free as well. I flattened them slightly with a fork, before baking.

These have been kid tested and APPROVED! Sorry, I don't remember how many cookies this recipe makes.


Ingredients
2 cups oats
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 medium overripe bananas
1/4 cup walnuts (or sunflower seeds)
1/4 cup semi sweet chips (or chopped dates)

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add the oats to a food processor or blender and give it a whiz until it turns into flour. Pour the oat flour into a bowl and add the baking soda and cinnamon.

Blend the bananas until they're completely smooth and add them to the oat mixture along with the walnuts and chocolate chips. Mix well to combine.

Use a cookie scoop (or tablespoon) to drop the batter onto the baking sheet about 1" apart.
Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

I made these a second time with a few changes and they tasted like tiny mounds of banana bread! Of course this no longer makes them free of eggs and other things.

Add the following to the above recipe
4 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup wheat bran
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon flax seed
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

Adapted from Scmooed Food.

Sour Pickled Cherries

Any time you might eat a pickle or olive, you can eat a sour cherry! Set them on the table with your relish tray at your next party. They're really pretty and REALLY sour. Yum!


Ingredients
fresh sweet cherries, washed with stems removed
white vinegar
salt

Directions
Fill a clean jar with cherries. Leave about 1/2" - 1" at the top of the jar. Fill the jar with enough white vinegar to cover the cherries. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt for each cup of cherries used. Put the lid on and swirl it around to dissolve the salt. Let it sit in the fridge for several weeks.

I left mine for 3 months and they were perfect. Sprinkle with salt before serving.

Cranberry Sauce

I love cranberry sauce with turkey and chicken. I can't imagine Christmas without it!


Makes about 1 1/4 cups

Ingredients
12oz bag of fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup orange juice
1 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick

Directions
In a pot over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the orange juice and add cinnamon stick. Stir in the cranberries, and cook until they start to pop (about 10 minutes).

Remove the cinnamon stick and transfer the sauce to a bowl.  Refrigerate for a few hours until it sets.

Creamy Balsamic Salad Dressing

I like it sour. You could cut back on the vinegar if you like. Most of the time I also add dried oregano or Greek seasoning blend. 1/2 a teaspoon should be enough.



Makes 3 servings

Ingredients
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 teaspoons Miracle Whip (or mayo)
1 teaspoon mustard or mustard powder
salt
pepper

Directions
Shake or blend all ingredients and store in the fridge until ready to use.

Mini S'mores Marshmallow Pops

I went to make these and realized I only had mini marshmallows. But that wasn't a problem, they fit perfectly on toothpicks! I put 2 on each one. This makes a cute one bite treat!





Makes however many you want

Ingredients
mini marshmallows
semi sweet chocolate chips
graham crackers, crushed

Directions
Put 2 marshmallows on each toothpick. In the microwave, melt some semi sweet chocolate chips. About a minute for 1/2 cup should be enough.

Dip the marshmallow toothpicks into the chocolate and swirl them around to coat. Immediately dip them into the crushed graham crackers. Set them aside on some parchment to dry.

I kept mine in the fridge. I actually like them cold too.

I got the idea from gimme some oven.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Small Batch Valentine Cupcakes (chocolate and vanilla)

I was looking for small batch recipe for cupcakes and I did find one on Pinterest (which is addictive) which linked to My Madison Bistro. I actually made half a batch (although I'll give you the recipe for the full batch). So what would we call it then? Mini batch? Maybe so since I even used mini paper candy liners which are smaller than mini cupcake liners. Next time I would make a bit more frosting. By the time I frosted the chocolate cupcakes there wasn't really enough to do the vanilla so I just spread some on those.







1 full batch makes 48 super mini cupcakes or 12 regular size mini cupcakes or 6 cupcakes

Ingredients
For Cupcakes
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 egg whites
1/3 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
For Frosting
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup confectioners sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
beet juice or food colouring

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350F and line your muffin tins with paper liners.

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add softened butter, egg whites, milk and vanilla and beat for just a minute or so with a whisk. You can use beaters if you want but the whisk worked out okay for me.

Take half the batter and put it in a separate bowl. Add 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder and whisk until well combined.

Fill the paper cups about 3/4 full of batter then bake for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cook completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, combine all frosting ingredients in a bowl and whisk for a minute. It should be thick. Again, you can use beaters for this if you want it a but fluffier.

Pipe or spread the frosting on the cool cupcakes and decorate however you like. I used coloured sugar and cinnamon hearts.

Tip: To get the beet juice, grate a small piece of fresh beet with a small grater into a paper towel. Squeeze the grated beet in the paper towel and the juice will drip out.