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Recipe Round-Up: April

2010 April 30
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Posted by Carina

Every month, I’m going to post about the recipes I’ve found through blogging that are just begging me to try them!

Strawberry Banana Bread

2010 April 25
Posted by Carina

Recipe Source:

Website

allrecipes.com – Strawnana Bread

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups strawberries, mashed
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two 9×5 inch pans.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.
  3. In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, strawberries, bananas, orange peel, and oil. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes. Add flour mixture, and stir just until moistened. Stir in walnuts.
  4. Bake for 1 hour, or until loaves test done. Remove to wire rack to cool.
  • Yield: 2 loaves (9×5 inch)

Alterations:

  • Omitted the nutmeg, since I don’t particularly like the flavour.
  • Used whole wheat pastry flour.
  • Doubled the cinnamon.
  • Used 1 cup packed brown sugar and 1 cup splenda.
  • Used less strawberries and more bananas, simply based on what was available in the kitchen.
  • Omitted the orange peel.
  • Used canola oil instead of vegetable oil.
  • Omitted the walnuts since I’m taking them to school and avoiding nut allergies.

Our Yummies:

Conclusion:

The consensus – me plus the students at school who had a loaf to end their 30 Hour Famine – was that this bread rocked! There wasn’t really enough strawberry in it to taste them, but it was good nonetheless. Next time, I’ll try it with as much strawberry as the recipe calls for, and see if that improves it!

Recipe Round-Up: March

2010 April 1
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Posted by Carina

Every month, I’m going to post about the recipes I’ve found through blogging that are just begging me to try them!

Non-Recipes:

Recipe Round-Up: February

2010 March 8
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Posted by Carina

Every month, I’m going to post about the recipes I’ve found through blogging that are just begging me to try them!

Lentil Stew with Sausage and Kale

2010 January 31
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Posted by Carina

Recipe Source:

Website

Closet Cooking – Lentil Stew with Italian Sausage and Kale

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage (casing removed and crumbled)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1 carrot (diced)
  • 2 stalks celery (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • chili pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 cup white wine (or chicken stock)
  • 1 cup de puy lentils
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 parmigiano reggiano rind (optional)
  • 1 bunch kale (cut into bit sized pieces) (or spinach or swiss chard, etc.)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup parsley (chopped)

Directions:

  1. Cut the meat into small pieces, leaving the bone in.
  • Yield: 9 x 9 inch square pan – depending on size, between 9 and 16 date squares

Alterations:

We used “tofurkey” sausages instead of meat sausages, so they were just cut up into little pieces instead of crumbled. Since we really like veggies, we doubled the amount in the recipe (except the onion), and also added a bunch of mushrooms. We skipped the balsamic vinegar, bay leaf, and parmesigiano reggiano, and used white wine and veggie stock instead of chicken stock. We also added some spices, though – extra garlic, with some Italian blend, extra oregano, and basil. We used green lentils since that’s what we had on hand that was closest.

Our Yummies:

Conclusion:

We probably would have pre-cooked (or at least soaked) the lentils a bit, since they were still pretty hard when it was all done. I’d like to try this with meat sausage at some point, but otherwise it was really good.

Definitely a keeper recipe.

Quinoa Mushroom Pilaf

2010 January 31
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Posted by Carina

Recipe Source:

Website

Gluten-Free Goddess – Quinoa Mushroom Pilaf

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small to medium yellow bell pepper, diced fine
  • 1 small to medium green bell pepper, diced fine
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Greek Seasoning (mint, lemon, basil, oregano mix)
  • 2 scallions (spring onions) sliced- white and light green sections
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to taste

Directions:

  1. Make your quinoa using a rice cooker. You’ll need roughly 2 1/2 – 3 cups cooked quinoa.
  2. As the quinoa cooks, gather and cut up your vegetables.
  3. When the quinoa is almost done, heat a splash of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, yellow and green pepper; and stir over medium heat until slightly softened. Add in the mushrooms. Season with sea salt, and ground pepper, to taste. Add the Greek seasoning. Stir and cook until the mushrooms are tender.
  4. Scoop the cooked quinoa out of the rice cooker and add it into the mushroom- pepper mixture. Add in the sliced scallions. Stir to combine. Squeeze fresh lemon juice all over the quinoa and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Toss to coat the quinoa.
  5. Taste test and add more salt or seasoning if it needs it.
  6. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts, if desired.
  7. Serve immediately; or allow it to cool, then cover and refrigerate it to eat as a salad.
  8. Note on chilling this quinoa: Before serving this quinoa cold, taste test again and adjust seasonings; chilling often dulls the flavors in these kinds of salads. I usually allow quinoa salad a few minutes out of the fridge before serving; letting it to come to room temperature helps the flavors. If making ahead as a salad, I’d use water instead of broth- personal preference.
  • Yield: 4 servings

Alterations:

We used sweet peppers rather than green peppers, and used a bit more veggies than the recipe called for. We didn’t use scallions, though. We didn’t have fresh parsley, so we used dried; also, we didn’t have Greek seasoning, but used most of the components of it on their own, with the exception of the mint. Also, we used extra garlic, and added red chili pepper flakes.

Our Yummies:

Conclusion:

We accidentally made way too much quinoa – 3 cups uncooked instead of figuring out how to end up with 3 cups cooked quinoa. That made for a way too high quinoa:vegetable ratio, which wasn’t as good as it should have been.

It was good enough that we would do it again, but would definitely make sure not to make so much quinoa for it next time.

Oat and Nut Date Squares

2010 January 31
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Tags:
Posted by Carina

Recipe Source:

Website

seven spoons – Oat and Nut Date Squares

Ingredients:

  • 10 ounces (around 2 cups) pitted dates
  • 1 cup water
  • zest from half a clementine
  • 1/2 cup ground nuts
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • a pinch of ground clove
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 10 ounces (3/4 cup, 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at coldish room temperature, diced
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and line an 9-inch square pan with parchment paper so that the paper hangs over the sides of the pan.
  2. In a small saucepan, pour the water over the dates. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring often. Reduce the heat to medium low to maintain a simmer, cooking the fruit until all of the liquid has been absorbed and the dates become a soft, concentrated paste, around 10 minutes. Stir often. Set the fruit aside to cool, stir in the clementine zest.
  3. Once the dates are cool, purée them in a food processor fitted with the metal blade attachment. Scrape out the dates to a bowl as best as you can, but don’t worry if there’s a bit left behind. Set the fruit aside.
  4. Into the processor, add in the nuts, flours, salt, baking soda and spices. Pulse to combine. Add the sugar and pulse again. Using your fingers to keep the pieces separated, crumble in the butter into the dry ingredients. Pulse again a few times until the flour and butter mixture resembles a coarse, uneven meal. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and stir in the oats.
  5. Press a generous half of the crust mixture into the prepared pan. Spoon the date filling over, spreading it to cover the crust completely. Sprinkle the rest of the crust mixture over the fruit. Bake in the preheated oven until the top crust is golden brown and crisp, around 30 minutes. Rotate the pan once during baking.
  6. Cool the bars completely on a rack, still in the pan. Once at room temperature, chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm up. Slice as desired, serving them at room temperature or chilled.
  7. Makes one 9-inch square pan, can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or refrigerated (my preference).
  • Yield: 9 x 9 inch square pan – depending on size, between 9 and 16 date squares

Alterations:

I didn’t put any clove or nutmeg in, because I don’t like the taste. I used a bit of juice from the clementine instead of zest, and table salt instead of kosher salt. Also, I used about double the amount of cinnamon, and all whole wheat flour instead of partly white flour. For the nuts, I chose pecans. I didn’t have any parchment paper in the house, so I just made sure to spray the pan (a glass dish, really) with lots of non-stick cooking spray. Oh, and I didn’t use a food processor at all – I just did all the mixing by hand.

Our Yummies:

Conclusion:

All I can say is – these were awesome. We are definitely making them again.

Recipe Round-Up: January

2010 January 31
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Posted by Carina

Every month, I’m going to post about the recipes I’ve found through blogging that are just begging me to try them!

Six Week Bran Muffins

2009 December 31
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Posted by Carina

Recipe Source:

Website

Krista’s Kitchen: meal plans and everyday cooking

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 cups Raisin Bran cereal
  • 4-1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup flaxseed
  • 5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 quart lowfat buttermilk (a little over 4 cups)

Directions:

  1. Beat eggs and sugar until combined.
  2. Stir dry ingredients together. Add to eggs and flour.
  3. Pour in oil and buttermilk. Stir until combined.
  4. Refrigerate at least 6 hours before baking.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
  • Yield: 5-6 dozen muffins
  • Batter will keep in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks.

Alterations:

Instead of sugar, I substituted in a mixture of light agave, dark agave, and honey (in order from largest amount to smallest). I didn’t realize ahead of time how little flour we had left in the house, so there was only 1-1/2 cups of whole wheat flour to use for the batter. The remainder was made up with buckwheat flour. The flaxseed I used was ground (since unbroken flaxseeds don’t give you the needed nutritional value, and it wasn’t specified), and I used canola oil.

Once everything was mixed together, it looked way too watery, so I added an extra 1/2 cup of buckwheat flour. Then I left the batter in the fridge overnight so that we could have muffins for breakfast in the morning with very little prep work. When we baked the muffins, it only took 15 minutes (the lower end of the range) for them to be finished.

Our Yummies:

Conclusion:

Despite how healthy the ingredients seemed, we ended up really loving the taste of these muffins. It’s possible that, after soaking overnight, the muffins would have been okay without the added flour.

We’d like to try making them again, particularly to try using bran flakes and raisins separately (or substituting a different dried fruit), since Raisin Bran has a lot of additives and unnecessary sugar in it. But otherwise, it was definitely a hit!

Overnight Stuffed Banana’s Foster French Toast

2009 December 22
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Posted by Carina

Recipe Source:

Website

Krista’s Kitchen: Meal plans and everyday cooking

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract
  • 3 ripe bananas, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

French Toast:

  • 1 large French bread loaf, cut into 8 slices
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • confectioners’ sugar, for garnish
  • maple syrup, whipped cream

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Once butter is melted add the brown sugar and pinch of cinnamon. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar melts into the butter and becomes a sauce. Add bananas and rum extract and toss together. Let cook until the bananas are soft and incorporated into the sauce. Remove to a bowl and let cool completely. Once cool, add cream cheese and mash with a wodden spoon.
  2. Using a paring knife, cut 2-inch-long slits in 1 side of each bread slice, cutting 3/4 of way through bread and creating pocket that leaves 3 sides of bread intact. Divide banana mixture equally among the bread pockets. Place stuffed bread slices in a lightly greased 9 x 13 baking dish.
  3. In a large bowl, add eggs, heavy cream, milk, cinnamon, and rum, and whisk to combine. Pour mixture over the bread slices. Turn each slice once to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees until the French toast is golden brown and filling is hot, about 30 minutes. Transfer the toast on a serving platter and garnish with confectioners’ sugar and maple syrup.
  • Yield: 8 servings

Alterations:

I pretty much did everything the recipe said to, except that we didn’t use confectioners’ sugar or maple syrup. (We used sugar-free syrup instead.) Though, I suppose that I did use more than the usual amount of cinnamon, since that’s how we like things. I also left out the rum extract, since we don’t keep it in the house, and don’t particularly like the taste of rum.

Our Yummies:

Conclusion:

I really don’t see why there needed to be so much milk fat in this. Between the heavy cream and the whole milk, it was actually really hard to even finish a single piece of this without feeling really close to have a heart attack. We couldn’t even imagine how it would have felt if we had used actual maple syrup on top of all that.

If we switched down to something with lower fat content, though, like maybe using whole milk instead of the cream, or possibly even bringing the whole thing down to maybe 1-2% milk, that might help. If I could make it taste lighter, we would probably really love to try this again.