Sunday, May 31, 2009

Rhubarb Muffins

I love rhubarb and it's especially tasty mixed into these muffins. It made a good size batch (1 1/2 dozen) so I stuck some in the freezer for later too!

Rhubarb Muffins From Simply in Season

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk, sour milk or plain yogurt (I used sour cream)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 egg beaten
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup rhubarb, diced
1/2 cup nuts (optional)

Topping: 1/4 cup sugar
1 T butter, melted
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp flour

Combine the first 5 ingredients thoroughly. In a separate bowl, mix the milk, brown sugar, oil, egg and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients until just moistened. Next add the rhubarb and nuts, stir. Fill greased muffin tins 2/3 way full. Combine the topping ingredients and sprinkle on top of the batter (I decided to omit the topping and they turned out just fine). Bake in preheated oven at 375 for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Oven Barbecued Pork Chops

Here's a great recipe for BBQ pork chops made in the oven. If you're not able to grill out because it's too windy or it's raining out, try this easy recipe which tastes delicious!

Oven Barbecued Pork Chops

6 pork chops
1 T Worcestershire sauce
2 T vinegar
2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
3/4 c ketchup
1/3 c or more water

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Put in baking dish. Bake uncovered for 1 1/2 hours or until meat is tender.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Kalamata Lemon Chicken

I know I've been posting a lot of baking recipes lately. I've been just kind of throwing stuff together that I have, making up my own dinners and not really following any recipe. Tonight I found this recipe, had most of the ingredients on hand and thought I'd share this yummy dish with everyone.

Kalamata Lemon Chicken From Better Homes and Gardens

1 to 1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs (I substituted chicken breasts)
1 T olive oil
2/3 cup dried orzo pasta
1/2 cup drained, pitted kalamata olives
1 14 oz can chicken broth
1/2 of lemon, cut into wedges or chunks (I omited since I didn't have this)
1 T lemon juice
1 tsp dried Greek seasoning (use a combo of Italian seasonings and oregano)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

In a skillet, brown chicken in hot oil about 5 minutes, turning once. Stir in orzo, olives, broth, lemon wedges, lemon juice, Greek seasoning, salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to a 2 qt rectangular baking dish. Bake, covered, in a 400 degree oven about 35 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink (180 degrees).

Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Pancakes

I'm always trying to find new recipes and change things up. I don't like the same old recipes all the time or the same old dinners/breakfast, whatever. We make breakfast on the weekend and often it's eggs, potatoes and bacon or sausage. Same old, same old. Yesterday I experimented and made a stovetop skillet, mixing the cooked sausage and potatoes together and topping with a scrambled egg mixture with shredded cheddar on top. Yum! Same ingredients, different assembly. For something different this morning, I found this pancake recipe which was very tasty and heart healthy no less. Try these some day for a change from regular pancake mix, they're very easy and a breeze to make!

Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Pancakes From Cooking For Life

1 cup skim milk
2/3 cup old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup flour
2 T brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten (use organic, cage-free for increased omega-3)
2 tsp canola oil
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Heat the skim milk in a small saucepan until hot. Remove from the heat and stir in the oats. Let stand, covered for 5 minutes.

Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a bowl and mix well. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Whisk the eggs, canola oil and vanilla in a bowl until blended. Pour the oat mixture and egg mixture into the well and stir just until moistened.

Pour 1/4 cup of the batter onto a hot griddle and cook for 4 minutes or until golden brown on both sides, turning once. Remove to a baking sheet and keep warm in a 200 degree oven. Repeat the process with the remaining batter.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Kahlua Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I have had this recipe for a long time and have been looking forward to trying them. I finally got all the ingredients and whipped them up. They are awesome! I simple and rich cookie, chock full of coffee and chocolate flavors. Yum!

Kahlua Chocolate Chunk Cookies From Rachael Ray

1 pkg dry chocolate chip cookie mix (1 pound 1.5 ounces)
7 T softened butter
1 large egg, beaten
4 T Kahlua or other coffee liqueur
3 T instant coffee crystals
1 T ground coffee beans
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks (recommended: Ghiradelli brand)
4 oz walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place racks in center of oven. In a mixing bowl, make a well in the center of dry chocolate chip cookie mix. Add butter, egg, Kahlua, instant coffee and ground coffee, chocolate chunks and walnuts. Mix well to combine all ingredients into cookie dough. Scoop with a small scoop or by heaping tablespoons and drop cookies 2" apart on ungreased nonstick cookie sheet or sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake cookies in batches 9 to 11 minutes or until crisp and browned at edges. Transfer to wire rack to cool and serve.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dee's Mighty Muffins

I got this recipe from a co-worker who is very into health foods. We try to eat healthy and these muffins were packed full of ingredients that are good for your diet: oat bran for fiber, cinnamon to help fight diabetes and walnuts for the vitamin E. This is also a flour free recipe for something a little different.

Dee's Mighty Muffins

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups raw oat bran
2 1/8 tsp baking powder
1 T cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp sea salt

Wet Ingredients:
1 cup vanilla enriched soymilk or nonfat cow's milk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 large egg whites
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp liquid stevia extract (or 1/4 cup or so of sugar)

Third Set of Ingredients:
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup raw unfiltered honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin pans with paper muffin cups or coat with coconut oil or butter. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix together thoroughly with a wire whisk. In a separate mixing bowl combine the wet ingredients with the wire whisk until the mixture becomes somewhat frothy. Slowly add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon or use an electric mixer. Fold in the raisins and walnuts. The last step is to add the honey very slowly to the mixture while stirring. The batter should become lighter in texture.

Fill mixture cups and bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees and then lower heat to 350 degrees. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan.

**I substituted 1 cup of blueberries for the raisins. Really good!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Shiitake Mushroom Pasta

I found a new favorite cookbook: Simply in Season. It has great recipes to use the seasonal fruits and vegetables that are starting to ripen. This is a great way to utilize the local produce from roadside stands and farmers markets, not to mention your own backyard! I found this recipe and we really enjoyed it! It's kind of like stroganoff without the meat and it's delicious!

Shiitake Mushroom Pasta From Simply in Season

3 T butter
2 1/2 cups shiitake or other mushrooms, chopped
1 cup onion, minced
1 tsp salt
7 T dry sherry or broth
2 T flour
1 large clove garlic, minced
pepper to taste
2/3 cup water or broth
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

Melt butter in frypan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onion and salt. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Stir in sherry, then turn heat to low and slowly sprinkle in flour. Keep stirring for a minute or two after all the flour is in. Add garlic and pepper and continue to cook and stir over low heat 5-10 minutes. Stir water or broth and sour cream into sauce, mixing well until it is completely incorporated and heater throughout. Serve over hot cooked pasta and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Whole Wheat Hamburger and Hot Dog Buns

With grilling season upon us and many of us getting ready to fire up the grill and enjoy some hamburgers or brats grilled to perfection, what would be better than making our own whole wheat buns? I have not had good success making my own burger buns in the past. Until now, that is. This recipe is from and it is delicious and easy to make. Just through all the ingredients in the bread maker and with a little shaping and a little extra rising time, you'll have wonderful homemade buns in no time!

Whole Wheat Hamburger and Hot Dog Buns

1 cup water
1 egg
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup shortening (can substitute canola oil instead)
1/4 cup sugar
3 tsp yeast

Place all ingredients in bread pan, select dough setting and press start. When dough has risen enough, the machine will beep. Remove bread pan, and turn out dough onto a floured countertop. Gently roll and shape the dough into a 12-inch rope. With a sharp knife, divide dough into 8 pieces for hamburger buns or 12 for hot dog buns. Grease a baking sheet. Roll pieces of dough into balls and flatten for hamburger buns or shape into 6 inch rolls for hot dog buns. Place on prepared baking sheet. Cover and let rise in warm oven 10 to 15 minutes until almost doubled. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake 10 minutes to 12 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on racks. When ready to use, split buns horizontally.
** These will keep in plastic bag in the freezer for 3 to 4 weeks.

Gardening Time!!

I've been gone a while, I know. I've been busy with work (and still am) as well as working on putting together a cookbook for a fundraiser. I'm doing the 3 Day Breast Cancer Walk this November and am working on raising the $2300 needed to participate. I'm getting closer, but still not quite there. My friend and I who are walking together put together a cookbook with recipes from many friends and co-workers called Cooking for a Cure. It's in the production stage and hopefully will be ready in a month or two. Let me know if any of you are interested! All proceeds go toward fighting breast cancer!

Anyway, I have also been busy the last few weeks putting together my garden. I started 4 kinds of tomatoes from seed a few weeks ago as well as green, red, jalapeno and banana peppers. I also have a bunch of flowers started from seed too. It's fun watching everything grow from a tiny little seed. Amazing! I've been busy during the moments that the weather's been cooperating and have already planted potatoes, summer squash, zucchini, cucumbers, peas, beets, radishes, lettuce, spinach, carrots, onions and honeydew melon. Not too much left to get in! I'm really trying to grow as much of the food that we eat that I can this year. I feel that's better for us and better for the environment. Hopefully I'm successful!

I encourage everyone to try and grow something this year. When we lived in an apartment I grew a couple tomatoes in pots and some peppers as well. It's always so fulfilling to eat something that you produced. Lettuce and spinach is also easy to grow in pots on a balcony if you don't have an area for a garden. Start small with your favorite veggies and enjoy some fresh vegetables this summer from your own backyard!