Saturday, February 28, 2015

Favorite Roasted Potatoes

Roasted potatoes don't require a recipe, but I wanted to post them because it's my favorite winter side dish. My favorite way to prepare it is with equal parts butter and olive oil along with salt and pepper, fresh herbs and heads of garlic. I've used pretty much every variety in the store, including fingerlings and sweet potatoes. 

I like to mix them up so some are facing down and some are facing up so they end up different levels of crispiness. I bake them for at least 30 minutes at 400, sometimes more. I either roast them in a cast iron skillet or a foil-lined dish. 

Even if you're not usually a garlic person, you should try roasted garlic if you haven't already!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Cornflake Marshmallow Cookies

I could write a post complaining about the winter, but instead I will brighten your day with this cookie. It is amazing. Like OMG good. For vday, we spent the day in NYC for the day eating and vintage shopping of course. I got this cookie and looking back I should have gotten the cereal milk ice cream. Next time! My homemade version is not as perfect as the one from the bakery, but it comes close especially since we get to eat it right out of the oven. For all you Pittsburghers, there's a Milk bar in Toronto! So like a 4.5 hour drive instead of 7 hours! There's also a Milk cookbook (which this recipe is from) if you want to never leave your house which I fully support. This past snow storm, we played in the snow. Rex could drag Kelly in a sled because the snow was so frozen. Now that is ridiculous. 

There's 2 separate parts- the cornflake crunch and the actual cookie dough. There will be extra cornflake crunch to snack on as you bake the cookies.

Momofuku Milk Bar Cornflake Cookies

Cornflake Crunch:

5 cups cornflakes
  • 1/2 cup milk powder (I used nonfat- found in any grocery store, full fat can be found at Mexican or Asian food stores)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt 
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt butter. Crush the cornflakes with your hands in a large freezer bag (or just in a bowl) to 1/4 of the cereal's original size. Toss the cornflakes with salt, sugar, and dry milk in a medium mixing bowl. Then add the butter and mix to incorporate. Spread an even layer on the parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes. The cornflakes should be lightly golden brown and smell amazing. You only need 3/4 of this recipe for the cookies!
Let cornflakes cool completely. While they're cooling, make the cookie dough. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Cheesy Jalapeños

These are like those fried jalapeño poppers but homemade and better. I made them gluten-free for Linda by using cornmeal for the breading.

The recipe that these are pretty loosely based on calls for cutting a slit in each jalapeño and actually stuffing them with the cheesy filling but the first time I made these I didn't read the directions and had sliced all but one in half before I saw that. So I did the last one the "right" way, but I liked the halved ones better.

Cheesy Jalapeños
Adapted from Epicurious (from a 2008 recipe from Gourmet)

8 fresh jalapeños
1 cup cheese, shredded (I used gouda the first time, mozzarella the second, both good.)
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/2 tsp paprika
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tsp oregano
1/4 cup frying oil (veg or safflower)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Hot & Sour Soup

I am very much in agreement with Michelle - I've been making soup almost every day this week. This one is Martha Stewart's hot & sour soup - I was actually really sure I had already posted this because I've been making it since college, but it looks like I haven't. Usually I do include the tofu, but this time I didn't have any, and it was way too cold to go out and get some.

From Martha Stewart

3 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
4 cups fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced (I usually use button but the original recipe calls for shiitake)
4 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp corn starch
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cup tofu, cubed
2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
4 green onions, thinly sliced

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

While winter seems never ending at least we can all feel ok about never leaving our houses. That means Netflix, homemade cookies, and so much soup. Also puppy snuggles. Rex is the best foot warmer. I've made tortilla soup twice so far and everyone has loved it. I went on a wild search for hominy and found 2 types at Wegman's- white and golden. I went with golden for the recipe. I also bought some dried hominy which I cooked with dried black beans for the second time I made tortilla soup. I found this recipe on Cookie+Kate!

  • 1 dried ancho pepper, chopped with seeds if you want more spice
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño (if you want even more spice)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 14-ounce can hominy, rinsed
  • 14-ounce can black beans, rinsed

In some ghee or coconut oil, sauté the onion for about 5 minutes. Add pepper and cook for a couple more minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Then throw in the spices including the ancho pepper for a couple seconds. Add the broth, tomatoes, and paste. Bring mixture up to a boil and simmer for 1/2 an hour. Add in the beans and hominy. Simmer for 15 more minutes on low heat. Then if you can wait, let sit overnight for the flavors to meld and serve hot the next day! 

Cheddar cheese
Tortilla chips (obvii)

Monday, February 16, 2015

French Yogurt Cake

Yesterday my sister and I went to Ikea planning on just looking around... and we left with a big new kitchen island and a heart-shaped silicon cake pan. I am equally satisfied with both purchases and made use of both while making this cake.

Gâteau au yaourt/Yogurt Cake
From Chocolate & Zucchini

2 eggs
1 cup plain yogurt (I used Greek)
3/4 cup + 1 tsp sugar
1/3 cup oil (original recipe calls for veg. oil but I used olive oil)
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp dark rum

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Double Bean Burgers

These bean burgers, a combo of white beans and black beans, are way better than I thought they were going to be. The recipe (surprise surprise) is from How Sweet It Is, and she recommends making an avocado basil sauce. I had some mint, so I made it with mint instead, which is like the avocado crema I sometimes have with empanadas.

So far I've had the burgers as a burger with crema and lettuce and alone with the crema, diced jalapenos and pomegranate seeds.

Double Bean Burgers
Slightly adapted from How Sweet It Is

1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can white/cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 cloves garlic
1 shallot, diced
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
salt & pepper
1 egg
1/2 cup panko
3 tbsp olive oil

In a large bowl, mash the black beans and white beans. They don't have to be completely mashed like refried beans, just mushed up. Add the garlic, shallot, paprika, onion powder, cayenne, salt and pepper. The white beans will mash up more than the black ones. In a little bowl, whisk the egg with the panko and olive oil. Combine the beans with the egg mixture and separate it into six patties. Heat up some olive oil in a skillet and cook the patties until heated through and browned on both sides.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

2 Salads: Lime/Shrimp/Avocado & Blood Orange/Sweet Potato/Kale

I am just about ready to kidnap Michelle & baby and fly to Ecuador and stay in airbnb places and Alandaluz, a beach ecoresort. (Michelle, look.) Brittany, you can change your flight back from Mexico and come join us. I just think that I shouldn't have to be around snow right now. See:

Instead, I will make bright, pretty salads.

Lime/Shrimp/Avocado Salad
Adapted from Skinny Taste

1 lb cooked shrimp, peeled & deveined, rough chopped (I sautéed mine in olive oil)
1 avocado, cubed
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
2 limes, juiced
salt & pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

Toss the onion, lime juice, olive oil and salt & pepper in a small bowl. Let that sit for about five minutes to mellow out the onion. Combine with pepper, jalapeno, avocado and shrimp. Add pomegranate seeds if they're laying around from something you made yesterday. Serve.

Note: You can add cilantro if you want. I like cilantro, and I bought some for this salad but it smelled really bad when I opened it so I tossed it. It's so good without the cilantro that I won't use it when I make this again.

Blood Orange/Sweet Potato/Kale
Slightly adapted from How Sweet It Is

1 sweet potato, rough chopped
1 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika

6 cups salad greens (I used chopped dino kale)
2 blood oranges, chopped or sliced sideways
1/4 cup pomegranate arils
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled

2 blood oranges, juiced
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

Roast the sweet potato in the oven at 400 in the maple syrup, oil, salt, pepper and paprika. Roast for about 20 minutes or until a little soft. Let cool.

Mix the greens with the sweet potatoes, orange pieces, pomegranate arils and feta cheese. Combine the orange juice, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour in the olive oil while whisking. Pour as much as you want to use into the greens and save the rest in the fridge for other salads. Serve.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Chicken & Dumplings

I've been meaning to make something like this for a long time, and then I was looking through How Sweet It Is and saw this and added it to my list for the week. Tonight I actually make two recipes from that blog - the "Creamy Chicken & Dumpling" and the very very pretty "Winter Chopped Salad with Roasted Sweet Potato and Blood Orange Vinaigrette". They both really hit the spot - it was a very nice winter dinner that didn't take very long to put together.

The moral of the story is that every time I look at How Sweet It Is I want to make EVERYTHING - way more than any other blog. And she's from Pittsburgh, so I think she should be our spirit animal. From now on our blog can just rehash her recipes with a 6 month lag, where we re-make her recipes and post them with way worse pictures. Plus dogs.

Slightly adapted from How Sweet It Is

1 1/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 5 medium thighs)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp butter
1 sweet onion, diced
1/2 cup sliced or diced carrots
1/3 cup sliced or diced celery
(for the three above ingredients, you could get a pre-diced mirepoix) 
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp dried thyme
1/4 cup flour
5 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup heavy cream

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk

Monday, February 2, 2015

Vegan Brownies

These are my favorite brownies. They take some more work than my other brownie recipe but if you have the time it's so worth it. I love the texture from the ground flax and the subtle taste of coconut throughout the brownie. The first time I made this was on rotation in Oregon. I didn't have a full kitchen so to grind the flax, my friend Chris and I had to pound the flax seeds with a wine bottle. That's improvisation! It was a lot of work, but this time I just bought them preground. You can also use a food processor. This recipe is from Guilty Kitchen. I actually tried a different recipe for vegan brownies and they were such a fail that I had to throw them out. Tragedy. On a happier note, baby monster feet!

1 cup coconut oil
4 oz. semisweet chocolate chips 
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp instant coffee powder
1/2 cup hot water
1 cup white sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 cups white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp ground flax seeds
6 Tbsp hot water

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease an 8 x 8 pan.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a small bowl, stir together the ground flax and 6 tablespoons of hot water. Set aside to get goopy.
In a small pot, melt the coconut oil and chocolate chips together over low heat.
Mix the coffee powder with the 1/2 cup of hot water in a large mixing bowl. Pour in the melted chocolate mixture. Whisk in sugars and vanilla. Stir in the flax mixture.
Then stir in the dry ingredients.
Pour the batter into the greased baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. The brownies are done just when a toothpick comes out clean or just before.
Let cool completely before serving. When I make these, they puff up a lot so there are some parts that are crunchy and some that are raw. Otherwise they will completely fall apart. Once the brownies are set, they'll be a little coconut oil greasy. That's totally normal. If you store them in the fridge, they'll get a little coat of solidified coconut oil on the bottom.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Russian Walnut Apricot Bars

Here's another belatedly posted holiday recipe. My mom wanted to serve these on our dessert table - she always talks about how she wants to keep things simple this year and not go crazy and then we make several main dishes, a ton of sides and a packed table of desserts. 

I tried to convince her we didn't need to make the Russian Torte since we had more than enough already, but I ended up making it. I'd never baked anything like these bars before, and they were really good - sweet but not too sweet, nutty and tangy.


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