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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Honey Vanilla Ricotta Ice Cream

So it is clean out the fridge and freezer week here, and I bought ricotta cheese and heavy cream to use for a recipe I decided not to I needed to use them somehow.

Honey Vanilla Ricotta Ice Cream

2 C Heavy Cream
2 C 2% milk
2 C whole milk ricotta cheese
pinch of sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
seeds from one vanilla bean
2 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup honey (I used creamed honey from trader joe's)

Put all ingredients in a large bowl and use immersion blender to fully blend together.  Or put in food processor.  Taste to make sure the sweetness is to your liking.  I do not like sweet ice cream, so this was perfect for me.  Put mixture into ice cream maker and I churned for about a half hour.  Transfer to container and put in freezer.  I made a berry sauce to put over it.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Banana Peanut Butter Bread

Sooo....I have been making different variations on this banana bread for awhile.  This time I added Trader Joe's Crunchy Peanut Butter with Chia and Flax seeds.  So good!  This is not a sweet banana bread, and honestly that is usually fine with me, but I think next time I might add a little more sugar.  So play with it and see what you like, but if you like a sweeter bread I would add another 1/4 c sugar or honey.

Banana Peanut Butter Bread

2 C all purpose flour
3/4 C sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 large very ripe bananas, mashed well
4 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1/4 c plain or vanilla greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C peanut butter (I used trader joe's crunchy peanut butter with flax and chia seeds)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a loaf pan. 

Whisk the dry ingredients (flour thru salt) together in small bowl.  In large bowl combine mashed bananas, butter, vegetable oil, eggs, yogurt, peanut butter and vanilla.  Stir to combine the wet ingredients.  Gently fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredient mixture.  Do not over mix.  Scrape the batter into greased pan and bake until golden brown and a toothpick comes clean 55-75 min. 

Let the bread cool in the pan.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Sour Cream Apple Crumb Pie

So....sour cream is my favorite condiment of all time, I can eat it right out of the container (don't judge).  So when I found an apple pie recipe that had sour cream in the filling I had to try it.  The original recipe I found on pinterest, but upon further research, found a few different versions, so I came up with what worked for me.  It is absolutely delicious! I may never make apple pie another way again. The sour cream mixture makes a custard, and also cuts the sweetness down a little on the pie.  If you have a big sweet tooth you may have to adjust the sugar amount, but it was just right for me.  I don't mess around with pastry and pie crust, so I used a frozen deep dish pie crust (honestly the A&P brand is one of the best ones I have tried and they are cheap....but if you must make your own, go ahead).  I thawed the crust out for about 15 min on the counter and then pricked it all over with a fork and pre baked for about 10-12 min, at 400 degrees until it is very slightly golden.  I think I actually did it for exactly 11 minutes.....this is to prevent sogginess.

Sour Cream Apple Crumb Pie

1 frozen, deep dish pie crust, thawed on counter and prebaked (see above directions)
2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 C sugar
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (I used fresh)
few shakes of ground cinnamon
1 egg
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups apples, peeled and thinly sliced (I used 4 apples, Golden Delicious)
2/3 C all purpose flour
2/3 C sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
6 Tbsp unsalted butter (do not soften), cut into cubes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, and prebake pie crust (see directions above ingredients list).  Meanwhile, stir together 2 Tbsp flour, salt, 3/4 C sugar, nutmeg and few shakes cinnamon in a  bowl.  In another bowl combine egg, sour cream and vanilla extract, stir well until fully combined.  Add egg mixture to dry mixture and fold in sliced apples, and spoon into pie crust.  Bake pie 15 min at 400 degrees F, lower temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake 30 min more (if crust is browning too much cover with foil lightly).  Remove pie from oven.  ***During this bake time combine 2/3 C flour, 2/3 C sugar, 2 tsp cinnamon, and 6 Tbsp butter with fork or hands until resembles crumbs. Place back in fridge**** Once you remove pie from oven, take crumb mixture out of fridge and sprinkle crumb mixture over pie.  Return to oven until browned on top and pie filling is bubbling.  I think I cooked it for about 15 minutes more.  Allow to cool before putting in fridge and chill fully.  I read in several reviews this is not a pie you want to serve warm.  If you are making this for a specific dinner/event, I would make it the day before.  Make sure to refrigerate the pie for storage.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

basic quiche recipe

So quiche is one of the most versatile things....great thing to do with leftover veggies and cheese (and meats).  There is a basic formula, and then you make it yours.  Here is the formula....Happy quiching!
Any questions please post to comments, I will answer them...I usually make quiche every week.

Quiche Formula

4 eggs (shameless plug here for The Happy Egg fave brand)
1 cup of half and half
1/2 C cheese of your choice, grated (I use closer to a cup bc I really like cheese)
1 C veggies (whatever combo you choose).  I like to saute veggies usually before adding
1/2 C meat (optional....if using meat...usually breakfast sausage, bacon or ham is what I recommend....obviously cook it first and, if needed, chop it up)
1 deep dish pie crust (I don't get all fancy, just buy the frozen store brand...or make your own if you are Martha Stewart).

Preheat oven to 350 F.  I leave crust out for about 20 min to thaw...then prick with fork and pre bake for about 10 min.  Saute any veggies until softened (or steam if it is broccoli.  If using tomatoes, no need to cook first, if using frozen spinach squeeze all liquid out of it first).  Cook meat if using.  I usually layer meat and veggies in the crust...then 3/4 of the cheese, and egg and half and half whisked together.  Top with remaining 1/4 c of cheese.  Bake 50-60 min or until a knife inserted into the quiche comes out clean.
**PS if you have an A&P near you, I HIGHLY recommend their store brand of frozen deep dish pie crust.  Very good and very inexpensive.

Chili hold the tomatoes

Sometimes I like my chili with a tomato based sauce, and sometimes not....there is a tiny bit of marinara in this recipe for taste, but overall it is more of a beefy man chili....nice and spicy....although the spice mellowed a bit the second day.  I actually remembered to write everything out this time.  This makes a lot of chili...I am guestimating about 8-10 servings if you serve it over rice or pasta.  I like serving mine over elbow pasta.  I used beef, but you could easily sub ground turkey...I would not use the super lean turkey just because of the long cook time, the meat needs a little fat so it does not dry out.

Chili hold the tomatoes

3 Tbsp olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced (3 was enough for me...only use 4 if you like it super garlicky)
1 sweet onion, chopped fine
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped fine
2 Jalepenos chopped (I used the seeds)
2.25 lbs 90% lean ground beef
2 (15oz) cans of pink beans (what I prefer, use what beans you like), rinsed and drained
1 pkg Goya sazon
3/4 tsp ground oregano
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 bay leaves
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp coriander
2-3 tsp cayenne...I used 2 and it was pretty spicy
salt to taste
hot sauce to taste
few dashes worcestershire sauce
4 c beef broth
1/2 a bottle of beer (drink the other half while you make the chili)
1/3 c marinara sauce
1 Tbsp butter
1 heaping Tbsp flour

Cook beef over med high in large stockpot with 1 Tbsp olive oil until cooked through.  In a saute pan saute onion, bell pepper, jalepenos, garlic in 2 Tbsp Olive oil over medium, until cooked through and onions are translucent....about 5-7 min.  add vegetables to beef.  Add remaining ingredients to stockpot except for butter and flour.  Bring to a boil, lower temperature and simmer for about 20 minutes uncovered.  During the last 5 minutes melt butter over medium in a small pan, add flour and whisk to combine, cook about 2 min until flour smell is are making a is fancy.....add about a cup of liquid from chili and whisk constantly until mixture is thickened (whisking is important if you don't want flour lumps).  Add mixture back to chili and mix well.  At this point I like to transfer to a crockpot.....I HIGHLY recommend using a crockpot liner anytime you cook with the crockpot....Reynolds makes them and they are great!  Transfer to crockpot and set timer for 3 hours on low.  I used my immersion blender and pureed it a tiny bit to thicken.  Tada!  I garnished with cheddar jack and sour cream and chives....I like serving it over cooked elbow pasta, but you can do rice also.  This chili freezes very well.  Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Whole Wheat Pasta with Sausage, Spinach, and Mushrooms

This is a super hearty and if you use chicken sausage, like I did, super healthy, and most importantly #superdelicious !!

2 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 fully cooked spicy italian chicken sausages (sliced)...most come pre cooked
8 oz package fresh sliced mushrooms
1/3 C chopped shallots
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
1/2 of a 10 oz bag of baby spinach
3/4 C chicken broth
1/4 C dry vermouth or white wine
3 C dry whole wheat rotini pasta
2 C swiss cheese, shredded
splash of heavy cream

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Note:  Whole wheat pasta usually takes about 20 min, even though most packages say 10-12 minutes.  While pasta is cooking, saute shallots in olive oil over medium heat until translucent 2-3 minutes.  Add garlic and saute another 1-2 minutes.  Add mushrooms, sausage, red pepper.  Add wine and cook until liquid is almost absorbed.  Add spinach, and broth, and toss until spinach wilts.  Add cooked and drained pasta, splash of heavy cream, and cheese.  Stir until cheese melts and sauce thickens.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Buffalo Style Turkey Meatballs with Blue Cheese

I am re-publishing this post from a couple of years ago, because some people have asked me for it, and because I have improved it :)
OK, I am on a little bit of a meatball kick. I made these for superbowl sunday and they were a hit, not one left. I made my own low fat blue cheese dip to dip them in. These are actually pretty healthy, made with turkey and I use oatmeal and whole wheat breadcrumbs as binders (you wont even notice the oats). These meatballs are very moist (especially for turkey meatballs).

***I have since made this several other times and this is an edited version of the recipe***

Buffalo Style Meatballs

1/4 c low fat milk (sometimes I used closer to a 1/3 C)
1/2 C. whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 C. oatmeal (not instant), processed in food processor until reduced to crumbs
1 large egg, beaten lightly
16 oz ground turkey
2 cloves garlic, minced (more if you like it very garlicky)
1/2 C fresh parsley, choppped
1/2 C crumbled blue cheese
1 T. unsalted butter
bottle of your favorite wing sauce, minus 2 Tbsp that go in the meatball mixture
1/4 C crumbled blue cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Pour milk in a large, deep bowl. Add oats and breadcrumbs and let sit a few minutes until milk is absorbed. Add egg and stir well. Add ground turkey, garlic, salt, pepper, parsley, and 2 Tbsp wing sauce, and 1/2 C blue cheese and mix well until combined. Shape into small cocktail sized meatballs, place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or non stick foil.  Bake 10-12 minutes, until cooked inside. At this step you can let them cool and refrigerate or freeze them.  They freeze very well.

If you are using them right away, melt butter over med and add remaining wing sauce until heated through. Toss meatballs with wing sauce/butter mixture. sprinkle 1/4 c crumbled blue cheese over top. Serve with toothpicks and low fat blue cheese dip (recipe follows).  I also often serve these over brown rice or quinoa for dinner.  If you are reheating them, melt the butter and mix with wing sauce, toss with meatballs and 1/4 C crumbled blue cheese in covered casserole dish and bake at 350 until sauce is bubbling and meatballs are hot....prob about 15-20 minutes.

Low Fat Blue Cheese Dip

16 oz low fat sour cream
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. dijon mustard
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste (I like lots of pepper)
2tsp-1 T apple cider vinegar (depending on the consistency you want)
8 oz crumbled blue cheese

mix all ingredients together. Serve with meatballs.