Showing posts from March, 2011

Maple Pecan Muffins

I have mentioned before that I love muffins, all kinds of muffins and yet, I have not posted any, for a while.  I think it is a time for another muffin, one from Nigella Lawson.   I respect Nigella and love most of her recipes.  Reading her new book has given me glances of who she is and I have learned a tremendous amount from her tips and her techniques.

There are chefs that I have cooked from that I wish I could do a recipe a week.  Nigella is one.  Tyler Florence is another.

I am planning to do a lot more Ina Garten cooking, right here.  I am not a person who uses lots of fat.  I sub oil for butter whenever possible.  Ina is going to be my challenge because I am cutting down her fats in my recipes and I am going to make them work.  I recently made one of her loaf cakes and I did just this, subbed in oil for the butter and used less than called for.  I had a luscious, moist cake.  It was delicious and I doubt it lost anything in the translation.    My advice to my readers is not to …

Passover Baking - Brownies

rownies, PPassover starts the evening of the 19th - Monday night.  Our cooking for eight days is quite different in certain areas.  We do not use any leavened products.  What we buy must have a mark that tells us, it is made especially for the holiday.

Meat and fruit and vegetables remain basically the same.  We just can't use any prohibited products.  To cut down on meat, I plan to have a lot of veggie meals for the middle days.  There are 4 days of the holiday, 1 Sabbath day and three additional days which we call Chol Ha Moed, and these are half holidays.

Until, I prepare my kitchen, I can't cook anything for Passover, also called Pesach.  I don't want to wait until then to share some recipes for you, the readers.  Whether you are observing the holiday or not, you might enjoy some, if not all of the recipes.

I am going to start now with the recipes and add the photos after I make them in two weeks time.  I start cooking a few days before the holidays.  I keep cooking un…

Quiet and Unassuming Quinoa

Quinoa brings out varied reactions from many bloggers.  Some share that they would like to make it but are a bit nervous about doing so.  Others can't stop raving about it.  Two very different reactions to one useful food item.

I have found quinoa to be quite unassuming.  It goes where you tell it to go.  You want it to be spicy, it picks up the flavor with easily.  If you want it bland, add very little to it.  Use it instead of rice, on occasion.

It is easy to make other than rinsing thoroughly.  I put it through a sifter three times.  I found my strainers have holes that allow the quinoa to fall right through.  The sifter catches it and is easy to handle.

Other than that, it is not time consuming and you need not fuss over it.  Just enjoy it and it will blend in with the other flavors on the plate.

Of course, you probably do not want your quinoa to be quiet and unassuming.  You want it to have a little heat or lots of flavor.  You want add-ins for texture.  You can play as much …

Nutty Burgers

Use it up!  Use it up!  I will show you a photo of my nut and dried fruit stash and you know, there is no way, I am going to clear the house of nuts.  By the way, you can use lots of nuts, all kinds of nuts on Passover but we use them from a new container.  Whatever is left of my present nutty delights will be stored  away for the week of Passover and we will reclaim them afterward.  In the meanwhile, we are going to find ways to use nuts in most of what we eat.  Sounds good to me.

Nutty Burgers Ingredients: 1 to 1 1/4 pounds lean ground beef1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion 1 egg, beaten2 tablespoons soy sauce1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1/4 teaspoon peppertoppings, such as tomato slices, lettuce, and onion slicesmayonnaiseMethod:

Combine first 7 ingredients; mix well. 
Shape into 4 patties; grill over hot coals 8 to 10 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. 
Transfer patties to serving platter.  Serve with tomatoes and pic…

Brrrr.....ownies -- Baking With Dorie -- BWD

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This week in BWD, we made Brrrr....ownies, leading us to a mint tinged brownie.  I didn't take photos and I am using the ones from a post, I did, in My Sweet and Savory.

This week,  Jen chose yummy brownies with a second flavor of mint.  A powerful and likable combination for us to enjoy and easily bake.  I made the batter with the raspberry mint patties which left a mint flavor that was an integral part of the brownie.

This is a successful choice for mint lovers.  You will find this recipe on page 103 of  Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. 

Menu Plan Monday - March 28Th

Sunday - Hamburger with Potato Deluxe and Marinated Baked Onions

Monday - Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower and Red Onions

Tuesday - Chicken Stir Fry

Wednesday - Vegetable Tacos

Thursday - Vegetarian West African Soup

Friday - Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Saturday - Chulent

Clearing Out Freezer and Pizza

As I mentioned before, in preparation for Passover,  I am clearing out the cabinets and freezer.  I thought, it would be fun to share the first transformation.  Keep in mind, everything, I am showing you has to be gone in two weeks.  Watch me cook up a storm.

My husband and I disagree how the freezer should be packed.  He thinks that plastic bags are the way to go and he is correct, I can get more food into the freezer using them.  On the other hand, once in plastic bags, I have to empty the freezer until I find what I am looking for.

I choose hard plastic containers which absolutely take up more space but for me, are easy to locate.  Even if I have to remove some, they are a snap to put back neatly.  It is also good for my need for organization.

The first food to be cooked is pizza.  In the freezer were two mini pizza crusts with a packet of sauce.  A little drama.....Out! Out! Darn Pizza!  And zoom,it is gone.

Ingredients for the shortest path to pizza other than buying it and t…

Mint Chocolate Chip Pie - Barbara Bakes

This recipe comes from Barbara Bakes.  If you have not checked her blog, you should go and visit.  Barbara presents a well organized and delicious blog.  Each recipe is explained clearly and has lovely photographs to inspire. 

I am thrilled that Barbara allowed me to share this recipe with you.  This is one of those QEDs that does use prepared segments (pie shell, ice cream) but it is one that taking this path is well worth it.  Just look at the photo below and you know that this is the truth.  To throw together a beautiful pie, in a short time and come up with this, has to be a glorious moment.  I just have to try for that moment.

Mint Chocolate Chip Pie Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Hopefully, you’re wearing green. (I may or may not have sent my boys to school with no green on last year because I forgot.) And hopefully you have something delicious and green ready for dessert. If not, here’s the perfect recipe for you to whip up at the last minute.
Stop by the grocery store on your w…

Mile High Peanut Butter Brownie Pie

The title sold me, before I even looked at the ingredients.  With a name like Mile High Peanut Butter Brownie Pie, it just had to be delicious.   It was also easy because this time, I copped out and use a ready-made pie shell and a box of brownie mix.  Of course, this is because I am so good and in preparing for Passover, I simply had to use this up.  I also finished off a jar of peanut butter.  I am good.Mile High Peanut Butter Brownie Pie Ingredients1 pie shell1 box Brownie Mix1/4 cupPeanut Butter Chips1/3 cup Canola  Oil3 tablespoonswater1egg1 package (8 oz.) Tofutti cream cheese, softened 1/2 cupCreamy Peanut Butter1 …

Creamy Chocolate Puffs

Before making wontons, I made a variety of puff pastry creations.  Anything sweet was pulled off the shelves and into my puff pastry creations.  Frantically opening containers and matching up the contents with another jar or box, was fun and challenging.  Puff pastry was easy too work with and in most cases, resulted in successful cookies.  I ran out of puff pastry before I ran out of ideas.
One of the boxes of puff pastry came in squares and were much easier to work with.  I used them first for the cookies, I rolled up.
I made different kinds of these and the best were the chocolate chips and Tofutti cream cheese.
Creamy Chocolate Puffs
1 box puff pastry (8 squares)1 container Tofutti cream cheese (non dairy)1 cup of chocolate chipsProcedure: Preheat the oven to 400°F.   melted margarine 
Lay out the 8 squares on a lightly floured surface.  Brush the pastry sheet with the melted margarine.  Spread the Tofutti cream cheese onto the pastry and sprinkle chocolate chips o…

Spirals with a Quick and Simple Meat Sauce

Last night, I decided to try one of Hazan's meat dishes.  Why not start with his simple meat sauce?  There was a good reason not to.  It is much too simple, basically throwing together meat and onions and tomatoes.  Certainly, I have made better sauces, myself.
I wanted to make something from Hazan, though, in keeping with the group's theme.  I looked up recipes from Hazan online and found this classic bolognese meat sauce which adds milk to the sauce.  Since, I can't use dairy milk, I subbed in Rice milk and made a sauce with some taste to it with added carrots, celery and onions, a little nutmeg and it used canned tomatoes instead of the fresh, he uses in this thirty minute book.  I ended up using both fresh and canned so I would have enough.

This is the recipe, I adapted.  It won't link up.  Computers or Blogger can can stubborn.

Ingredients                   2 small yellow onions, finely chopped4 small or 2 large …

Hamantashen with Apricot or Blueberry Filling

Jewish homes, all over the world, eat this interesting cookie on the holiday of Purim.  It is a three cornered cookie, traditionally filled with poppy seeds.  Nowadays, we fill it with everything from chocolate to fruit.  For information on the reasons for eating these cookies, at this time, you can check this article.

This is recipe that just goes together.  The fun is in planning the filling.  I used apricot butter with chopped almonds and cherry jam with whole cherries in it.  I also made a few blueberry filled hamantashen using blueberry jelly.  You can make your own filling and it is easy to do but I am on my rampage to empty out the refrigerator for Passover so the jellies are being utilized.

4 eggs1 1/2 cups sugar3/4 - 1 cup oil1 tablespoon vanilla1 tablespoon baking powder1 teaspoon salt5 1/2 cups flour1/2 cup apricot butter1/2 cup cherry jelly1/2 cup blueberry jelly  Method:
 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat eggs and add the sugar, oil, vanilla, baking powder, sal…

Cocoa Crinkle Cookies

I didn't get to explain about Purim and I do want to share one of our customs to explain, all my baking, which you will find here and at My Sweet and Savory.

We have a blast on Purim.  There is a big meal where we definitely indulge in good food.  The holiday starts in the evening and goes through to the following evening.  We hear the Megilla read.  The Megilla contains the Book of Esther which I love.  This holiday is a remembrance and celebration of the happenings of this book.

We give food gifts to several people although it is not necessary to give that many.  I decided this year to bake cookies and add fruit to my packages.  I will see if I have some still around and will take some photos.

Children and adults wear costumes and are in holiday spirit.  The streets of neighborhoods are filled with all of these happy folks giving their gifts out.  While in the house, others are making more packages.  Gifts vary.  We could get wine and cheese in one package and different kinds of…

Fresh Tomato Sauce - QED Guest Recipe - Miriam

Miriam and I met like all food bloggers do, visiting one another's blogs.  Miriam links to My Meatless Mondays and I have always loved her recipes.  I found many of them to be quick and easy to make and I am sure delicious, as well.  I am waiting for her cookbook to come out so I can cook through it.  I am that confident that I will like it.

I am going to let Miriam speak for herself.  I will say, I feel honored to have such a lovely foodie visiting my blog and certainly enriching it.  Please visit her, for yourself, and see how right, I am.