Friday, November 9, 2012

Apple Butter

I still have some leftover Cortlands from my visit to the orchard a couple weeks ago. I had been thinking apple sauce until I ran into this apple butter recipe on Sweetly Raw. I've never made Apple butter before, so I figured I'd give it a try. I modified it a little, of course.

6 Cortland apples chopped
3/4 cup water
scant 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 heaping tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice

2 tsp Vanilla

Roughly chop apples, leaving skin on. Bring all ingredients except vanilla to a boil in a sauce pan, and reduce to a low simmer for 45 minutes.
Allow to cool slightly, and blend with vanilla until smooth.

This is amazing. I'm going to freeze half of it, and I can't wait to have some on my toast tomorrow. I also just made a smoothie with apple butter, coconut milk, protien powder, ice cubes and extra cinnamon. Delicious!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Griddle cakes VS Pancakes

There is a distinction in these two wonderful breakfast options that I've been trying to figure out. So far I'm finding all griddle cake recipes make very thick, hearty cakes. They tend to puff up and take much longer to cook. I love them, but they can be tricky to cook all the way through. They are doughy and almost feel like a cross between a biscuit and a pancake. Pancakes are a thinner and softer, generally quicker to make. I haven't done as much research as I think I want to on this, I'm certainly open to advice.

Recipe TO DO

Like anyone who occasionally blogs recipes, I read a LOT of recipe blogs. I also loose track of a lot of the recipes I want to try. I'm going to try to round them up every now and then.

Cheesy Beer Bread  - Bakin' and Eggs
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars - Bakin' and Eggs - I make a cookie similar to this, love to try it as a bar.
Mushroom and Kale Lasagna Rolls - Skinnytaste
Vanilla Bean Pumpkin Smoothie - Hardly Housewives

My favorite ingredients right now are kale, spinach, parsnips, and sweet potatoes. I'm loving the fall foods, and I can't wait till next weekend when I'm hoping to get to the farmers market to find some fresh inspiration.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Plan B

I'm getting the feeling I'll be relying on my dinner plan B tonight, Amy's Sharp Cheddar Mac N Cheese.

It started with such wonderful plans,  I had a bunch of frozen green veggies, a bunch of fresh veggies, and I'm going to make them into some kind of shepherds pie! Then I started cooking and everything went wrong. I made some quinoa to add protein, fried up some tofu that was about to expire. I think I just tried to do too much... It's in the oven now, but I'm pretty sure it's not going to be pretty when it comes out. I've got the mac n cheese on standby just in case.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Cortland Apple Crisp

I made this in a 9 inch cake pan the first time, and had to pack the crust in a little more then I liked. In a larger pan it's perfect.

8 apples - I used Cortland for it's mild flavor, but would use something firmer next time. If your apples are huge use your judgement on how many to use.
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice

Peel and slice apples, and toss with spices to fully coat. Spread evenly into a 9x12 pan.

1 cup Wheat Flour
1 cup Oatmeal - quick oats
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 stick + 5 tbsp unsalted butter

Blend on pulse in a food processor until combined and in large crumbs. Top apples with oatmeal mixture and lightly drizzle with real maple syrup. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes until crispy.

Oatmeal Pancakes & Apple oatmeal alternative

These are my favorite Sunday morning pancakes. I always have greek yogurt in the house, and mixing it with milk this way replaces using buttermilk with a slightly healthier alternative. 

1 cup Flour
1 cup Oatmeal - quick oats
1 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt

1 1/2 cup Milk w/ enough plain greek yogurt to equal 2 cups
1/4 cup Oil
2 Eggs

Combine dry ingredients set aside.
Mix wet ingredients, making sure the yogurt and milk mix is smooth. Add to dry ingredients and let sit at least 20 minutes to soften the oats.
Pour pancakes onto hot griddle and cook until edges are dry before flipping. These pancakes will take a little longer then most to cook.

These are great the day after as well.

After a fall trip to an apple orchard a had a few pounds of apples sitting around and decided to experiment with them a little. What came out was delicious! 

Apple Variation -
Add 1 tsp Cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, and 2 tsp vanilla w/ 1-2 chopped apples. I used cortland because they are nice and soft and cook fast. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sundays are good days in my kitchen & Blueberry peach compote

I love days where I have plenty of time to experiment, and that's exactly what I got the last couple of Sunday. Last week I made the chili from my last post, one of my favorite random pots of stuff meals in a long time. Once I realized it was going to be a chili I through together a corn bread to go with it. I adapted a recipe that used chedder, corn kernels and bacon. I left the bacon out and added cumin and cayenne. I wasn't as happy with it though. It came out a little dry, I went light on the cheese to lighten to fat content but I didn't make up for the moisture it was missing from the bacon. I'll be trying it again and increasing the liquids to see what happens.

I had to run to the store for buttermilk and eggs, and low and behold beautiful blueberries were on sale as well. So I grabbed two pints. And then I sat at home with chili on the stove and cornbread in the oven and two pints of blueberries and buttermilk staring at me. I started a search for something I could make that would use them both. And then realized I didn't have vegetable oil. Well I do, but its garlic flavored and that just wouldn't work. I ended up making a crumb cake from Every Day Food. I subbed some of the flour in the topping for oatmeal to give it a bit more texture. I was very happy with the outcome and took it to work where my coworkers happily did away with it for me. Sadly I didn't even get a picture of it.

A week later I still had blueberries in my fridge. I know its a sin, my only excuse is that I wasn't home very much. Saturday morning I made a smoothie with fresh blueberries, frozen peaches, mango juice, greek yogurt and protein powder. Easily one of the best I've made in a long time. It kept me going for hours.

Sunday at noon I wanted pancakes. I remembered reading a recipe that used sour cream for pancakes, and I knew I still had a lot of greek yogurt so I decided to give it a try. You don't get the recipe yet. The final product was easily some of the best breakfast I've made but there was a lot of tweeking along the way so until I get it just right I wont publish it. But I'll give you the blueberry peach compote I made to use up the rest of my berries.

1 pint blueberries
5 slices frozen peaches - frozen will hold up better but fresh would work fine, add them after 10 minutes of cooking time
1/4 cup sugar
Enough cold water to cover

Toss berries and peaches in small sauce pan with sugar to coat.
Add the water
Bring to a boil, and reduce to simmer for 30 minutes until syrup is as thick as you like it.
I like mine very thick. It was that easy, and the flavor is amazing. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sweet potato black bean chili

Welcome back me!

At the request of a friend I am typing up this recipe, so he can stop bothering me about it. I had some sweet potatoes in my fridge that weren't long for the world. I did what I always do, I pulled a bunch of stuff out of my cupboards and started throwing things in a pot. Luckily I wrote it down as I went along.

Vegetable oil
1 Shallot diced
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne
1 Tblsp diced garlic
2 sweet potatoes diced
1 can roasted/stewed tomatoes with green chili - I use Trader Joes Brand
4 cups broth - I use fake chicken broth
1 can black beans rinsed
1 can great northern beans
1-2 cups roasted corn - Frozen Trader Joes Brand, sadly I didn't have fresh at the time.
1-2 tsp Chili 3000 - Penzeys Brand
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 cup red quinoa

Heat oil in large pan. Cook shallots until just caramelizing, add first 3 spices and mix to coat, cook spices until warm and flavors are developed, about 5 minutes.
Add sweet potato and mix until coated, add 1 can of tomato cover and simmer for about 15 minutes until color on sweet potatoes darkens, and they're just started to get soft.
Add 4 cups broth, black beans, and white beans and bring to boil until it starts to thicken.
Add corn, and the rest of the spices, and the quinoa and cook for 20 more minutes.

I served it with a little cheese and some plain greek yogurt. I made corn bread to go with it, but it wasn't my best so I'll wait to post that until I've got the recipe down. Next time I make this chili I'll throw in some carrots and maybe some more tomatoes.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Reserection! Blogging 2.5

Life changes, lets try this again.

A week or so ago I made an amazing quinoa pilaf, I didn't right down the exact recipe, because of course I was winging it. But the basics start with sauteed garlic, kale, and carrots, then vegetable broth and red quinoa, I had it cold with feta on top. Next time I'll add a shallot and maybe some mushrooms. Because the quinoa is so high in protein this was a great meal for me as a vegetarian, and would be a wonderful side with chicken or turkey for many of my friends. Next time I'll actually write down the recipe.