Friday, January 28, 2011

Turkey Meatloaf Muffins Topped with Spinach and Roasted Garlic Potatoes

I would really recommend making these very soon. I am not one who usually likes meatloaf, but these are just the right size and full of flavour. This is the third time I've made these in the last few months. I served them with some roasted lemon and garlic broccoli.

1 tsp olive oil
7 button mushrooms, chopped
1/2 onion, diced
3(yellow, red, orange) small baby bell peppers, diced(I used 1/2 c regular sized peppers)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb lean ground turkey
2 tbsp garlic and herb bread crumbs(I used panko)
1-2 tbsp milk
1 egg
3 tbsp parsley, chopped
sea salt and fresh pepper, to taste
Fresh spinach
Roasted garlic mashed potatoes
chives, chopped(I forgot these)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat muffin tray with oil.

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onions, and peppers and cook for 5-7 minutes until soft; add the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.

Mix the veggie mixture with the ground turkey, bread crumbs, milk, egg, and parsley together in a bowl until well combined.

Scoop the meatloaf mixture evenly into the muffin tray, pushing down to flatten. Place in the oven and bake for 22-27 minutes.

While the meatloaf is cooking, make the roasted garlic potatoes(don't forget to roast the garlic earlier). Right before you take the meatloaf out of the oven, wash the spinach and place in a pan over medium heat. Cook the spinach with a touch of water, season with salt and pepper, to taste, for 1-2 minutes.

Remove meatloaf from muffin tins, top with wilted spinach, potatoes and chives.

Source:For the Love of Cooking

New York Cheesecake

I made this cheesecake last weekend when we had friends over for dinner. I served it with some fresh strawberry puree and whipping cream. It was so good that I couldn't help but eat it for breakfast and lunch the next day. I had to hide in the kitchen so my kids didn't know I was eating cake for breakfast.


15 graham crackers, crushed
2 tbsp butter

4(8 oz) packages cream cheese
1 1/2 c white sugar
3/4 c milk
4 eggs
1 c sour cream
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 c all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with 1/2 tablespoon of the melted butter

In a bowl, mix graham crackers with melted butter. Press into the bottom the springform pan.

In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Blend in milk, and then eggs one at a time, mixing until just incorporated. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Pour filling over prepared crust.

Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and cool until barely warm, about 2 hours. Run a paring knife between the cake and the springform pan sides. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold.


Fettuccine with Peas, Asparagus and Pancetta

12 oz pasta
3 oz pancetta or bacon, chopped
1 lb asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 c frozen peas
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
1/3 c heavy whipping cream
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
2-4 tbsp fresh parsley, minced and divided
1/4 c fresh basil, minced and divided
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta in pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.

Meanwhile, cook pancetta in large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer pancetta to a paper towel to drain. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon drippings from skillet. Add asparagus to drippings in skillet; sauté 3 minutes. Add peas, white and pale green parts of green onions, and garlic; sauté until vegetables are just tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add vegetable mixture, 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid, dark green parts of green onions, 1/2 cup Parmesan, cream, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon peel, half of parsley, and half of basil to pasta. Toss, adding more cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls if needed. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle pancetta, remaining parsley, and basil over.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Almond Chicken Penne

This recipe is from Giada. Apparently this is a classic Italian dish. I wish the pictures did it justice. They don't. It was really delicious. I love how creamy the almonds and chicken stock get when blended. The warmed peas? Delicious. The fresh basil? So good. And the lemon zest?  Are you kidding?  Get outta here.  You have to try it. It's a creamy pasta without all the fattening butter and milk and flour.  Really easy too.

1 pound penne pasta
2 cups (9 ounces) blanched, slivered almonds
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 store-bought, rotisserie chicken breasts, skinned, boned and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
1 cup frozen petite peas
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 large lemon, zested
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups grated Parmesan
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.

In a blender, combine the almonds, chicken stock, olive oil, and garlic. Blend until the mixture is smooth.

Pour the mixture into a large skillet and turn the heat on to medium. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chicken, peas, cream and lemon zest. Cook, stirring frequently until the chicken is heated through, about 4 minutes (mixture will be thick). Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Put the cooked pasta into a serving bowl and add 1/2 cup of the Parmesan. Toss together until the pasta is coated. Add the chicken mixture, the remaining cheese and the basil. Toss the ingredients together, adding the reserved pasta water, as needed, to loosen the sauce. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pancetta and Kale Strudel

I sauteed pancetta, onion, garlic and then wilted in some chopped kale. Wrapped it up in some puff pastry with freshly grated parmesan, and a few dollops of sour cream and green onionbrushed it with olive oil. Id also like to try it with ricotta and maybe do like a bite size appetizer. Kale is good though. Id recommend subbing it in for spinach next time you have a spinach recipe.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Berry Oatmeal Muffins

1 cup Whole Wheat flour
1 cup White flour
2 cups quick oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 T. baking powder
pinch of salt
1 3/4 cup plain yogurt or 2 cups milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Zest of one lemon
1 T. vanilla
1 cup blueberries
1 cup raspberries

In bowl, combine oats and yogurt; let stand for 10 minutes.
Then add eggs, oil, lemon zest, vanilla. Mix dry ingredients separately then add to yogurt mixture. Careful not to over mix. Gently fold in berries. Sprinkle tops with brown sugar and oatmeal. Bake at 400 for 20-23 minutes.

Adapted from Pregnant Again

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Shrimp Scampi

It was 5 o'clock and I didn't have anything planned for dinner. I knew I needed a recipe that was going to be quick and easy or we were going to be ordering pizza. This was the perfect dish, super quick to make and full of flavour.

1/2 pound Linguine( I didn't have any so I used spaghetti)
1/2 pound large shrimp, cleaned and peeled
2 tbsp fresh garlic, minced
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
*1/2 c white wine(optional)I didn't need to use this

Cook linguine, reserve a few tablespoons of the starchy pasta water.

Season shrimp with salt and pepper. I large skillet, melt butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and chili flake and saute for 2 minutes. Add shrimp and lemon zest. Cook shrimp until they turn pink. Add lemon juice and parsley. Toss in cooked pasta, adding a tablespoon of the pasta water at a time until you reach desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

*If you would like a more saucy pasta dish, remove shrimp from skillet once they are cooked. Add in 1/2c white wine and turn heat to medium-high. Reduce liquids for 4-5 minutes.

Easiest Focaccia

I served this bread with this. This bread only needs 30 minutes to rise. It's the perfect bread if you don't have a lot time. Next time I will serve it with some balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

1 tsp white sugar
1 pkg active dry yeast
1/3 c warm water
2 c all-purpose flour
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp fresh rosemary

In the bowl electric mixer, dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water.Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Add flour to yeast mixture; mix until combined. Mix in additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time until all the flour is absorbed. When the dough has pulled together, switch to the dough hook and knead about 5 minutes.

Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil.
Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until double, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F

Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface; knead briefly. Stretch the dough into a rectangular shape and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Poke dimples in dough. Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt and fresh rosemary.

Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 20 minutes,depending on desired crispness.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

One Pot Spinach and Mushroom Pasta

These one pot pastas are all the rage lately. So I decided to try it. Actually it was a one pan pasta. It was easy, so easy. And it tasted good too. This is how I did it.

Onion, garlic and mushrooms sauteed for about 3 minutes. Add Chicken stock. I used about 3/4 of a carton. Add noodles. I used spaghettini noodles. Bring to a slow boil. Once the pasta is almost done and the chicken stock is almost all absorbed, add ricotta cheese or cream cheese, cheese, and spinach. Let cheese melt and spinach wilt and its ready to go.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mozzarella And Cheddar Cheese Rolls

I wasnt even going to post these, but this sandwich I made was so beautiful that I couldn't resist showing you.

So, I made this roll recipe. I used white flour. Just before I was done kneading it I added about 1 cup each of mozza and cheddar cheese. Once they were ready for the oven I topped them with grated cheddar.

And this beauty below is just tomato and cream cheese toasted. De-Lish.

P.S.  I've ended my cell phone contract and getting a home phone.  They can't hook the home phone up until Thursday so you won't be able to get ahold of me.  I may phone you from Shawns phone if it's important.  Love you.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Light Brioche Burger Buns

This is the bun recipe I used for the buns for buffalo chicken sliders. The only thing I did different was make 12 instead of 8 buns. You could even make 14-16 because mine were still on the larger side for a slider bun.

3 tbsp warm milk
1 c warm water
2 tsp instant yeast
21/2 tbsp sugar
11/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
3 c bread flour
1/3 c all-purpose flour
21/2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

For topping:
1 large egg beaten with 1 tbsp water, for egg wash
Sesame seeds

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the milk, water, yeast, sugar, salt and egg.Mix to combine. Add the flours, and mix until incorporated. Mix in the butter. Switch to the dough hook and knead on low for about 6-8 minutes. The dough will be somewhat tacky. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double, 1-2 hours.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Shape each into a ball and place on baking sheet, 2-3 inches apart. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rise again, 1-2 hours, until puffed and nearly doubled.

Set a large metal pan of water on the lowest rack of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F with a rack in the center. Brush the tops of the buns lightly with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for about 15 minutes rotating halfway through, until the tops are golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Citrus Shrimp Salad

This salad is so simple and yet so tasty.The dressing has a nice light flavour and really brings all the ingredients together. I served it as a dinner salad with a homemade loaf of french bread. If you don't like shrimp, you could always serve it as a side salad without them. This would be a really great summer salad, with the shrimp done on the grill.
2 oranges, peeled and cut into segments
1 avocado, cut into cubes
2-3 tsp fresh lime juice
6-8 c romaine lettuce
1/2 c red onion, thinly sliced
3/4 lb shrimp, peeled and deviened
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced

For dressing:
6 tbsp plain yogurt
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
11/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt

In a large bowl, toss cubed avocado with lime juice to prevent browning. Add oranges, romaine and onions. Toss gently to combine.

to prepare dressing, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to blend.

In a medium saucepan , heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute 1-2 minutes. Add shrimp and cook stirring often for 2-3 minutes or until they turn pink.
Remove from heat and set aside. Shrimp can be served hot or cold over salad.

Just before serving, toss salad with dressing and top with shrimp.

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Cookies

I used the peanut butter cookie recipe from "Joy Of Cooking". Except I added 1/2 Cup cream cheese. I think because I used all natural 100% peanut butter these cookies are not too sweet, which is nice.  And maybe the cream cheese calms the sugar down too?  Doesn't matter why really, they are just plain and simple goodness.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup cream cheese
Beat until soft

gradually add 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar

Beat in
1 egg
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour.

Bake at 375 for 12 minutes

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Chocolate Salted-Caramel Mini Cupcakes

This recipe is from the Martha Stewart cupcake book. My mom got me this book a year ago and that's how long it took me to finally choose what cupcake I wanted to make first. I would pickup this book once a month and then could never decide what to make because there are just so many beautiful cupcakes to choose from. These cupcakes do take some time to make, but they are worth the extra steps.

Salted Caramel Filling
Makes 2 cups
2 1/2 c sugar
2/3 c water
1 tbsp light corn syrup
3/4 c heavy cream
2 1/2 tsp sea salt

Heat sugar with the water and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan over high, stirring occasionally, until syrup is clear; clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Stop stirring, and cook until syrup comes to a boil. Boil, gently swirling pan occasionally, until mixture is caramelized and just reaches 360 degrees F. Remove from heat; slowly pour in cream(mixture will spatter) and stir with wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in sea salt. Use immediately; if at any time caramel begins to harden, reheat gently until pourable.

Dark Chocolate Frosting
1/2 c plus 1 tbsp unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 c plus 1 tbsp boiling water
21/4 c unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 c confectioner's sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 pounds best-quality semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Combine cocoa and the boiling water, stirring until cocoa has dissolved. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, confectioners sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add melted and cooled chocolate, beating until combined. Beat in the cocoa mixture.

Makes about 56 mini
1 1/2c all-purpose flour
3/4 c unsweetened dutch process cocoa powder
1 1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 c buttermilk
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 c warm water

Sea salt, preferably fleur de sel, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350. Line mini muffin tins with paper liners. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add eggs, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and the water.With a electric mixer on low speed, beat until smooth and combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Transfer tins to wire rack to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.

To finish, use paring knife to cut a cone-shaped piece(about 1/2 inch deep) from the center of each cupcake(discard pieces). Spoon 1 to 2 teaspoons warm filling into each hollowed-out cupcakes. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over filling.

Fill pastry bag fitted with a medium open star tip(Wilton#18) with frosting and pipe onto each cupcake. Garnish each cupcake with a pinch of sea salt.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Sliders

This is a nice quick and tasty recipe. I served them with some carrots and celery and used some of the blue cheese spread to dip them in. This would be a good meal to make when you don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen

1 rotisserie chicken, shredded(I cooked and shredded two chicken breasts)
slider buns(I made these Brioche Burgers buns)
3 tbsp butter
1/2 c hot sauce
4 tbsp honey
2tbsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt

For the blue cheese spread:
1/2 c sour cream
1/4 c crumbled blue cheese
1 tbsp vinegar
3 chopped green onions
salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.Add the hot sauce, honey, vinegar, salt and pepper. Bring to a bubble. Add the chicken and heat through.Toast some buns. Mix all of the spread ingredients in a bowl.Spread buns with blue cheese mixture, top with chicken and your done.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Hummus and Olive Pizzettas

Dear Cousin,
You would love these. I used that pizza dough recipe you gave me, but any one would do. Shaped the dough into about 3 inch shapes. Spread with hummus, layer of cheese (Feta would be good), cherry tomatos and quartered kalamata olives. Then I drizzled on a olive oil, salt and parmesan cheese mixture before baking. But brushing the crusts at the end of bake time, right before broiling it. Serve with a lemon wedge. Crispy and delicious.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Shrimp Po' Boys

1 pound shrimp, shelled and deviened
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp creole seasoning(see below)
1 baguette
1 c lettuce, shredded
2 tomatoes, sliced
1/4 c remoulade sauce(see below)

Toss shrimp in the oil and creole seasoning to coat. Grill the shrimp until cooked, about 2-3 minutes per side. Assemble sandwich.

Remoulade Sauce

1/4 c mayo
1 tbsp creole mustard
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp horseradish
1 small clove garlic
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp capers
1 green onion
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
hot sauce to taste

Mix all ingredients together.

Creole Spice Blend
21/2 tsp paprika
2tsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1tsp dried leaf oregano
1 tsp dried leaf thyme

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cauliflower Potato Vegetable Soup

This is just one of the many cauliflower soup creations you might see on here in the future. Which is good cuz they say cauliflower fights cancer!

1/2 Onion
1 Carrot
2 Celery Stalks
1 Garlic Clove
1 Potato
1 Head Cauliflower
1 Box of Chicken Stalk
Bit of milk or cream
3 Cups Water
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Saute onion carrot celery and garlic. Pinch of salt and pepper. Add chicken stalk and water. Bring to a boil. Add potato and cauliflower. Cook until tender. Whisk in milk. Garnish with cheese and green onion.

Multigrain Buns

These buns are so light and fluffy.  Especially for a multigrain bread.  I find whole wheat and multigrain can be so heavy and thick.  These aren't.  The base recipe is from My Kitchen Cafe.  I just changed the flour.  I used a multi grain blend that uses a blend of flours but you could easily just add flax, cracked wheat and cracked rye.

1 1/2 cups warm water
3/4 tablespoon instant yeast (or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups all-purpose flour, give or take a few tablespoons (OR WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR)

In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl by hand, combine the warm water, yeast, sugar, oil, salt and 2 cups of the flour (if you are using active dry yeast instead of instant yeast, let the yeast proof in the warm water and sugar for about 3-5 minutes until it is foamy and bubbly before adding the oil, salt and flour). Begin mixing and continue to add the rest of the flour gradually until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. Judge the dough not by the amount of flour called for in the recipe but in how the dough feels (see a tutorial on working with yeast here). The dough should be soft and smooth but still slightly tacky to the touch.

Knead the dough in the stand mixer or by hand until it is very smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes in a stand mixer or 8-10 minutes by hand. Lightly spray a large bowl with cooking spray and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with lightly greased plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until it has doubled (this usually takes about an hour).

Lightly punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly greased countertop. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and form the dough into round balls. Place the rolls on a lightly greased or silpat-lined baking sheet about an inch or two apart. Cover the rolls with lightly greased plastic wrap taking care not to pin the plastic wrap under the baking sheet or else the rolls will flatten while rising. Let the plastic wrap gently hang over the sides of the pan to fully cover the rolls but not press them down. Let the rolls rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned and cooked through.

Spinach Salad with Curried Pecans and Apples

This makes for a nice side salad or you could make it a dinner salad like I did and add some chicken. I just added a tablespoon of curry powder to some of the salad dressing and marinated the chicken in that before I baked it. The only thing I changed was what kind of cheese I used, the recipe called for blue cheese but I didn't have any so I used havarti. This was one of the best salads I've had in a long time and I plan on making it again very soon.

For the pecans:
6 ounces pecan halves
2 tbsp melted butter
3 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
a pinch of cayenne pepper

1/3 c cider vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup
1tbsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 c olive oil

To make salad:
1(10 ounce) package baby spinach
1 gala or fuji apple thinly sliced
1 small red onion thinly sliced
1/2 c blue cheese

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Toss pecans in the melted butter with the remaining ingredients. toss to coat the pecans completely. Spread the nuts on a foil lined baking sheet and bake 10 to 13 minutes. Cool and set aside. You can make these a few days ahead of time and keep them in a airtight container.

To make the vinaigrette put all the ingredients in a jar and shake until combined. The dressing could also be made ahead of time.

Put everything into a bowl. Season the leaves with some sea salt and pepper and toss with 1/4 of the dressing