Friday, July 30, 2010

Black Bean Zucchini Pancakes

I know that these may not sound or look like something that you would want to make but I love these - they are great for lunch or a light dinner. And they are from Shape magazine so you can feel good about eating them.

Black Bean Zucchini Pancakes
Prep time: 7 min. Cook time: 8 min.
Serves 4

15 oz canned black beans (rinsed and drained)
2 eggs (use only egg whites if you want to be healthier)
1 tsp chopped roasted garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1 zucchini, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup bread crumbs
olive oil for cooking
1/2 cup salsa
2 1/2 Tbsp sour cream

In a medium bowl mash beans, egg, garlic and cumin to a coarse texture. Stir in zucchini and bread crumbs. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Using half of the mixture drop 4 mounds into the pan and flatten to about 3 1/2 inch rounds. Cook for 4 minutes turning after about 2 minutes. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Chocolate Drizzled Carmel Popcorn

Chocolate Drizzled Carmel Popcorn


1 cup popcorn kernels, un-popped

1 cup butter

½ cup light corn syrup

2 cups packed light brown sugar

½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla

½ cup milk and white chocolate (do not combine)


Pop popcorn and separate kernels. Preheat the oven to 250° F. Meanwhile, to make the caramel, melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan set over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, mix in the corn syrup, brown sugar and salt. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Once the mixture reaches a boil, let the mixture continue to boil for 5 more minutes without stirring. Remove the mixture from the heat, stir in the baking soda and vanilla extract. The mixture will bubble up and become frothy. Pour the caramel sauce over the popcorn in the bowl(s) and toss to coat thoroughly. Spread the popcorn evenly onto two large baking sheets lined with parchment paper. (It is okay if there are some clumps of caramel throughout. It will melt and become better spread out while baking.) Bake for 40-50 minutes, removing from the oven to toss/stir every 10 minutes. After 40 minutes, test a cooled piece of popcorn. If it is not completely crispy (i.e. still slightly mushy when you bite it), bake for 10 minutes more.

Remove the baking sheets and cool on a sheet of parchment paper.

Once popcorn is cool, melt white chocolate and milk chocolate in separate bowls. Drizzle melted chocolate over cooled popcorn. Allow chocolate to harden before serving.

Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispie Treat/

Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispie Treats


6 cups Rice Krispies
1 bag (10.5-oz) miniature marshmallows
¼ cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter
1 cups creamy peanut butter
1 bag (12-oz) miniature peanut butter cups (about 40), quartered
1 cup milk chocolate chips (or 6 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped)

Directions: Butter a 9×13-inch pan and set aside. Measure the cereal into a large mixing bowl and set aside. Melt the marshmallows and butter together in the microwave for 1-3 minutes. Pour the melted marshmallow mixture over the cereal and mix well so the cereal is coated. Pour into the prepared pan and use a buttered piece of wax paper to press evenly into pan. In the microwave, melt the peanut butter until thin, about 1 minute. Gently stir in the quartered peanut butter cups and then pour over the treats. Using the back of a spoon gently spread the peanut butter mixture evenly across the top. Again in the microwave, melt the chocolate chips. Using a spoon, drizzle the melted chocolate across the top. Place the pan in the refrigerator to set before cutting and serving. Store in an airtight container.

Skillet Lasagna

Skillet Lasagna


¾lbs ground beef

2 ½ pasta shapes

3 cups spaghetti sauce

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 tsp salt

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp basil

½ tsp oregano

½ cup mozzarella cheese

½ cup sour cream


Cook your ground beef in a pan and drain fat. Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions.

After noodles are cooked, drain and drizzle with olive oil. Mix in your spaghetti sauce.

Add your fried hamburger, seasonings, cheese, and sour cream. Fold together and allow it all to combine and melt together, over low heat, for about 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Recipe adapted from: Tasty Kitchen

Brazilian Shrimp Chowder

Brazilian Shrimp Chowder


2 tbsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
¾ cup long-grain rice
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
1 ¾ tsp. salt
1 ¾ cups canned crushed tomatoes
4 cups water
1 can coconut milk
1 lbs. medium shrimp, peeled and cut in half horizontally
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup cilantro, chopped

2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in water


Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes. Add the rice, red pepper flakes, salt, crushed tomatoes, and water to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 10 minutes or until the rice is almost tender. Stir in the coconut milk. Return the mixture to a simmer, and then stir in the shrimp and cornstarch/water mixture. Simmer just until the shrimp cooked through, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the pepper, lemon juice and cilantro. Serve immediately.

I add the cilantro to each serving so that any leftovers can be eaten the next day and taste just as fresh as when it was first made.

Source: adapted from Liz’s Cooking Blog and Annie’s Eats.

Friday, July 9, 2010


I find most of my recipes from cooking blogs that I love. My favorite is “Annie’s Eats” everything I make from her blog is always yummy and her recipes are easy to follow.

Annie’s Eats

The Pioneer Woman Cooks

The Brown Eyed Baker

Smitten Kitchen

Cilantro Lime Rice

This week I have not been very original or exciting when it comes to cooking. It has been so nice outside (and so HOT inside) that I don't really want to cook that much.

One thing I have made is Cilantro rice with grilled chicken. This was o.k. - it was a nice spin on white rice and I would make it again but its not really something to brag about.

Cilantro Lime Rice

1 cup long grain rice
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons water, divided
½ tsp. salt
½ cup fresh cilantro
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped

Combine the rice, 2 cups water and salt in a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stir briefly, cover and reduce the heat to low. Let cook, covered, until the water is absorbed and rice is fluffy and tender, 16-18 minutes.
(Cooking time can vary depending on the brand of rice. Check the package directions.)

While the rice is cooking, combine the cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, garlic and 2 tablespoons water in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Stir the mixture into the cooked rice and fluff with a fork.

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Bread

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Bread

1 Tbs. active dry yeast
3 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water (105° to 115°F)
1 cup warm milk (105° to 115°F)
3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1 Tbs. salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
6 to 6 1/4 cups bread flour, plus more as needed

For the filling:
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar mixed with 4 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

In a bowl, sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of the granulated sugar over 1⁄2 cup of the water and stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the remaining 3/4 cup water, the milk, butter, the remaining granulated sugar, salt, egg and 2 cups of the flour. Beat on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the yeast mixture and 1⁄2 cup of the flour and beat for 1 minute. Then beat in the remaining flour, 1⁄2 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Switch to the dough hook. Knead on medium-low speed, adding flour 1 Tbs. at a time if the dough sticks, until smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes. Transfer the dough to a greased deep bowl and turn to coat it. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours.

Lightly grease two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Divide the dough in half and roll or pat each half into an 8-by-12-inch rectangle. Lightly sprinkle each rectangle with half of the filling, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. Beginning at a narrow end, tightly roll up each rectangle into a compact log. Pinch the ends and the long seam to seal in the filling. Place each log, seam side down, in a prepared pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until the dough is about 1 inch above the rim of each pan, 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours.

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Bake until the loaves are golden brown and pull away from the sides of the pan, 35 to 40 minutes. Turn the loaves out onto wire racks and let cool completely. Makes two 9-by-5-inch loaves.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Bestest Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies really are the best cookies I have ever eaten or made. I thought I had a great recipe for cookies but I will never go back to another recipe again and I am sure that neither will you after you make these.

I like to switch up the kids of chips that I put in. My favorite is half milk and half white but this last time I did milk chocolate, white chocolate and butterscotch chips.


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (or 1 cup milk chocolate and 1 cup white chocolate chips)


1. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.

3. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (This step is best but not always necessary)
4. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.

5. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Recipe adapted from Jenny Moon and All recipes

Orange Julius

For the summer Jesse is working for Volker Stevin so after a long hot day I try to have dinner ready along with a cold Orange Julius - these usually save me when dinner is late or not that good.

I usually like to add a banana or strawberries if I have any on hand but it is very refreshing as is.

Orange Julius

1/2 of a 6 oz. can frozen orange juice
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
5-6 ice cubes

Blend in blender and serve immediately.

Bacon, Mushroom and Asparagus Quiche

Recently I realized two things – I really like quiche and it’s a lot more work then it sounds like. If you have pie crust in the freezer and you can use left over veggies from dinner the night before it is the fastest meal ever. Even if it is a lot of work, sometimes it’s just what I am in the mood for.

Bacon, Mushroom and Asparagus Quiche

For the crust:
I like to use Pioneer Woman Cooks Perfect Pie Crust and I usually try to make a could extra crusts to keep in the freezer so that the next time I make quiche or any kind of pie it feels like less work.

For the filling:
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 medium onion, minced and sautéed
1 cup mushrooms, sliced and sautéed
1 cup asparagus, sautéed
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups cheddar, shredded
1 tbsp. flour


After making the pie crust, preheat oven to 450 degrees and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 325 degrees F. To make the quiche filling, in a large bowl whisk together the eggs and milk. Mix in the bacon, onion, mushrooms, asparagus and salt. In a separate bowl, toss the cheese and flour together. Add the cheese to the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Pour the mixture into the pre-baked pie crust and bake 35-40 minutes or until the filling is almost completely set but slightly jiggly in the center. Let the quiche rest for at least 15-20 minutes before serving.