Friday, December 30, 2011

Fig and Pear Strudel

Not only does Santa not bring Broccoli-Rab, he doesn't bring Figs either. Not fresh ones anyway. I'd been planning on making a fresh Fig and Pear strudel for Christmas dessert, but alas. So I settled on dried figs, and changed my tactics a little bit. The results?
Freakin delicious.

Fig and Pear Strudel
- 3/4 lb dried Mission Figs, slice thin
- 5 ripe pears, peeled and cubed
- 1/4 c brandy
- 1/4 maple syrup
- 10 sheets Phyllo Dough
- 3/4 c bread crumbs
- 1/3 c sugar
- 1 tbsp cinnamon

Toss figs and pears in brandy and maple syrup, and set aside to marinate and soften for at least 2 hours.
When ready to make and bake; Preheat oven to 350. Mix breadcrumbs, sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside. Lay a clean towel on the counter and then a single sheet of Phyllo - brush with melted butter, sprinkle evenly with breadcrumb mixture, then top with another Phyllo layer, and repeat. Do this four times, until you lay on the 5th Phyllo sheet. Leaving a one inch margin on the left, spoon out figs/pears in a 3 inch wide strip, then starting from the left side, roll up the strudel, rolling gently but tight. Put on a greased cookie sheet, and brush with melted butter and a sprinkle of sugar.
Repeat this process for the second strudel.
These can be made ahead of time and baked right before you are ready. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, until tops are golden brown and flaky. Let sit for 5 minutes, then cut into 2 inch pieces with a serrated knife.
Serve warm with whipped cream.

Baby Broccoli Salad

This was supposed to be a Broccoli-Rab dish for a Christmas party, but apparently Santa does not bring Broccoli-Rab to the produce section of any of my local grocers.
He does, however, bring Baby Broccoli (not sure what the difference is). Or someone does...
Anyway, this was really simple, and came out freakin awesome.
This is a good, solid side that will complement almost anything, from fish to meat to itself. It's that good.

Baby Broccoli Salad

- 2 bunches Baby Broccoli
- 4 cloves Garlic, sliced thin
- 1 small Red Onion, sliced thin
- 1/2 bag Sun Dried Tomatoes, julienned
- 1/3 c White Wine
- Oregano, Basil, Black Pepper, Sea Salt

Steam Baby Broccoli til just tender - set aside. In a pan, saute onions until beginning to soften, add garlic, saute for a minute or two, and then add in the rest of your ingredients. Let simmer for a minute, then add the steamed Broccoli, tossing to coat, and then transfer to a dish. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Curry Dusted Seabass, Beet Puree

Last night I made an amazing dinner. It all came together, and was one of those well-rounded meals you can just pat yourself on the back for.
This was another one of those meals that just popped into my head; golden curry-fried chilean seabass over a mound of garlic spinach, topped with beet puree, with a side of sun-dried tomato polenta. I thought that the savoriness of the fish would be complemented by the salty-spinach and the sweet-earthiness of the beet. And damn was I right...
This $H!T was INCREDIBLE! Golden curry-fried seabass over a mound of garlic spinach. top that with an earthy beet puree.
Slice some pre-cooked store-bought polenta, fry, and serve alongside.

Curry-Dusted Seabass
- 3 servings Chilean Seabass
- 3 tbsp Curry Powder
- 1 tbsp Tuermeric
- 1 tbsp Whole Wheat Flour
- 1 tsp White Pepper
- Salt
- 3 small roasted beets
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
Puree beets with the red wine vinegar, set aside.
Sprinkle fish with salt. Mix spices with the flour and rub fish generously on each side, like a spice rub.
Heat a griddle till hot. Coat with cooking spray. Cook fish on one side until almost cooked through (will be firm and white). Flip and cook for 1 minute until crisped on second side.
Serve ontop of Garlic Spinach, topped with beet puree, with a side of fried polenta.
Enjoy with a deep red wine.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Rainbow Cookie Cake

I don't know if any of you have ever had or heard of Rainbow Cookies, but I have, and so has my sister. We grew up in New York, and the chocolate covered, tri-color and jam-sweetened cookies were a favorite treat of ours from the Italian bakery.
So, when I was thinking of what I could give her for her 21st birthday, this popped into my mind, and I knew right away that she would love it!Actually she's not much of a chocolate person, nor a dessert person for that matter, so I ended up eating her piece and mine, so you can trust me when I tell you; this cake doesn't just look good; it tastes great! Just like those cookies I used to love...just bigger!
- 3 sticks butter, softened
- 1 1/2 c sugar
- 6 eggs
- 12 oz almond paste, grated
- 1 tbspn almond extract
- 3 c flour, sifted
- 3 tspn baking powder
- red, green, yellow food coloring
- 1/4 c raspberry jam
- 1/4 c apricot preserves
For the ganache:
- 1 c light cream
- 12 oz semisweet chocolate

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy; about 5 minutes. Add in eggs and beat until smooth. Next add in grated almond paste and extract and beat until well combined; about 3 minutes.
In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients, and then add gradually to the wet mixture.
Divide the mixture among 3 bowls, and dye with the respective colors. Pour into cake pans and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.
Meanwhile, heat cream in a small sauce-pan until just about to boil and then pour it over the broken up chocolate, stirring constantly until completely smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Spread the red layer with the raspberry jam, top with the yellow layer, spread that with the apricot jam, and then top with the green layer. Pour on the ganache and spread it all over, and decorate at will. Let the cake sit outside (if it's cool) or in the fridge until the ganache sets before serving. Slice it up and enjoy!

Creole Shrimp and Creamed Corn

This was one of those dishes that had it all. The spiciness of the Old Bay shrimp, the sweetness of the creamed corn, the savoriness of the sherried mushrooms and red onion. Garnished with fresh cilantro, it all came together deliciously and was easy as hell to make.

Creole Shrimp and Creamed Corn

- 1/3 lb peeled shrimp
- Old Bay seasoning
- 1/2 can Creamed Corn
- 1/4 red onion, sliced
- 3 white mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 c sherry
- fresh cilantro, chopped

Chop shrimp and toss with Old Bay till completely coated. Saute onions and mushrooms until soft, add in sherry, and cook until liquid is absorbed. Set aside. Cook creamed corn until hot, and meanwhile saute shrimp until pink and cooked through. Spoon creamed corn onto a plate, top with the sherried mushrooms/onions and then the Creole Shrimp and garnish with the chopped cilantro. Enjoy!

Curry-Raisin Chicken

I'm going to start off with telling you to buy Curry Paste. Curry Powder is good and all, but has nothing close to the depth of flavor in the paste, and this dish would've been a whole lot tastier with it. So, although I used the powder, I'm going to pretend that I had/used the paste.
I was inspired by the Indian tandoori idea of marinating meat in spiced yogurt to keep it moist, but decided to go with coconut milk instead. I mixed curry paste and coconut milk and let the chicken sit in it all day. In the late afternoon it occurred to me that raisins would be a nice complement to the spicy curry paste, so I threw those in too.Later I cooked it all up with some steamed broccoli and served it over rice and it was awesome. Only thing missing was a little onion chutney.

Curry Raisin Chicken

(serves 2)
- 5 chicken tenders
- 1/3 c coconut milk
- 2 tbsp yellow curry paste
- 1/2 tsp each cumin, garlic powder
- 1/4 c raisins
- 1/2 white onion, sliced
- 1 c steamed broccoli
- 1 c steamed rice

Mix coconut milk, curry paste and spices. Pour over the chicken, add the raisins, and let marinate in the fridge for many hours. When ready to eat, cook rice and steam broccoli, and in a small frying pan saute onions, then add the chicken (cut into cubes) and then pour in the coconut milk marinade and the raisins. Season with extra curry powder if desired and cook until chicken is cooked through and hot. Serve over rice WITH ONION CHUTNEY

Cheese "Burger" Pasta

This is an easy, cheesy, healthy vegetarian meal that you will like, no matter who you are. The flavors are all there. The cheese, the veggie sausage, the sweet peas... top it off with some ketchup and dig on in.


- 1/2 pckg Shiritake Noodles
- 2 slices American or Cheddar Cheese
- 1/8 c milk
- 1/4 Sweet Onion, sliced thin
- 1/4 c Sweet Peas (frozen)
- 1/3 tube GimmeLean Veggie Sausage
- Smoked Paprika for garnish

Fry sliced sausage until crispy on each side. Cut into quarters and set aside. Saute onion until soft, add in noodles, then cheese, then milk, stirring constantly to combine. Stir in peas, reduce heat, and allow to simmer for a few minutes. Fold in the veggie sausage, scoop into a bowl, sprinkle with smoked paprika and drizzle with ketchup.
You won't even feel like you're eating vegetarian.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Honey-Curry Carrots

Honey-Curry Carrots
- 1/2 bag baby carrots
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- fresh cilantro, chopped

In a frying pan, melt butter and then add carrots. When carrots have begun to soften, squeeze in the honey, season with the curry powder, and cook to desired doneness. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

ChickenBaba Wraps

This was a meal in parts. I had homemade babaganoush and pita, made by a friend. I had carrots and a thawed-out chicken breast in the fridge. A bunch of cilantro about to get old. It all sort of came together...
I mixed up a cumin-yogurt marinade and let the chicken sit in it all day, then grilled it, shredded it, and rolled it up in a Pita with Babaganoush, chopped pickles and sauteed onions, and it was THE shit... and actually pretty easy to whip up when you think about it.
ChickenBaba Wraps
- chicken breast
- 1/4 c yogurt
- 1/4 c sour cream
- 2 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- juice of a half lime
- 1/4 c salty pickles, chopped
- 1/4 red onion, sliced thin
- 1/8 c sherry
- 2 pita wraps

Mix sour cream, yogurt, cumin, paprika and lime, then pour over chicken in a ziplock bag and let it marinate for as long as possible during the day (even over night). Wipe marinade from Chicken and grill on either side until cooked through. Let chicken cool, meanwhile saute onions until soft, add sherry, and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the onions are beginning to caramelize. Spread babaganoush on each of the pitas, and then divide the rest of the ingredients between the two.
I served this with honey-curry carrots with cilantro.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Tuna Pasta

Though not very creative, the name says it all. Tuna, pasta. Wine. Gets its own sentence.

- rigatoni pasta

- 1/4 onion chopped

- 2 cloves galic, sliced thin

- 1 small eggplant, peeled and diced

- 1/2 can fire-roasted tomatoes

- 1/4 c white wine

- 1/8 c clam juice

- 1 tbsp capers

- oregano, basil, thyme, crushed red pepper

- 1 packet of tuna

- parmesan cheese

Boil pasta water and cook pasta. In a small saucepan, saute onions and garlic together with the eggplant. When softened, add in the wine, clam juice and spices, and when most of the liquid is absorbed, add the tomatoes. Simmer until the tomatoes are mostly broken down, then stir in the tuna and finally the capers. Serve over pasta and top with parmesan. enjoy.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Bleus

Ironically, I've spent most of my life absolutely loathing Blue Cheese, but those spreadable cheese types ain't so bad.

Beefy-Bleu Burger with Sherry Shallots
- 1 shallot, sliced thin
- 1/4 c sherry
- 1/3 tube Gimme Lean veggie ground beef
- 1 wedge laughing cow light Bleu Cheese
- 1 tsp Liquid Smoke
- Old Bay seasoning
Saute shallots until soft, then add in the sherry and simmer until all the liquid is gone. Set aside. Mix the liquid smoke with the veggie ground beef, form into two patties, place the cheese wedge in the middle and form into a burger shape. Coat each side with Old Bay seasoning and grill on a George Foreman until heated through. Serve alongside garlic greens and roasted beets.

Beet n' Blue Club
- 2 slices wheat bread
- 2 wedges Laugin Cow light Bleu Cheese
- 5 slices Tofurkey
- roasted beets
- romaine lettuce
- 1 tbsp stone ground mustard
Spread bread with cheese. On one half arrange Tofurkey slices, and on the other, the beets. Spread turkey with mustard, top with lettuce leaf, and then the other beet-topped slice of bread to form your sandwich. Enjoy.

Sopa de Lima con Arroz y Pollo

Honestly, I'm not sure if this soup is more Asian or Latin, but what I am sure of is that I'm sick. There is something evil in my lungs, and the sinuses and throat are in a sad state. I needed something healthy to tide me over on a Sunday night, and with a smattering of odds and ends supplied by the fridge, a delicious soup was born.
Bad news is I'm still sick... but the soup was good.

Sopa de Lima con Arroz y Pollo
- 1 cube chicken bouillon
- 1 c water
- 1/4 onion, chopped
- 1/4 red bell pepper, chopped
- handful snow peas, chopped
- 1/2 c canned carrots
- 1/2 lime
- 1/2 chicken breast, diced
- 1/4 c cooked rice
- 1 tsp cumin
- fresh cilantro, chopped
- Sri Racha to taste
Saute the onions, then add in the pepper and when softened, add in the snow peas and then the water and chicken bouillon. Season with cumin, salt and pepper. Next, squeeze and toss in the lime, then the chicken, the rice, and finally the carrots. Simmer over medium heat until well mixed. Pour into a bowl, garnish with fresh cilantro and Sri Racha to taste. Hopefully it will work better for you than it did for me, but in any case it's delicious!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

PB and J Oatmeal

Peanut Butter, Jelly - meet Oatmeal.
This was only a matter of time...

But what the hell took so long?PB AND J OATMEAL
- 1/2 c rolled oats (not instant)
- 3/4 c milk (or more if you don't like it thick)
- sugar to taste (or maple syrup if you're cool)
- 1 to 2 to 3(!) tbsp Peanut Butter (again depending on coolness)
- shake of cinnamon
- 1 awesome tbsp of chunky jam (blueberry was awesome)
Pour the oats and the milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, dump in your sugar, cinnamon and peanut butter and stir it up till oatmeal has arrived at your desired gooiness. Scoop into a bowl, top with the jelly and now decide whether you want to scoop a little of the jelly mountain up with each bite or stir it all together into a puddle of PB and J love. Either way, there will be a next time.
You are officially hooked.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Escargot Pasta

You're probably wondering What the Hell?
Yep, same.
Blame Canada. And my impulses. But mostly Canada.
I saw this in a supermarket a couple of years ago on a road trip to Canada, and had to buy it.
That was two years ago.
These aren't just snails. They're old snails. Bring it.

Nothing a little wine and herbs can't handle.

Escargot Pasta
- 1 can of snails (hahahaha)
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
- 1/4 sweet onion, sliced thin
- 1/4 yellow bell pepper, sliced thin
- 1/4 c clam juice
- 1/4 c white wine
- 1 tsp each oregano, basil, onion and garlic powders
- 2 sprigs fresh tarragon, chopped
- 1 tsp fleur de sel (salt)
- 1 serving whole wheat pasta
- grated Pecorino Romano cheese for topping

Boil pasta water. Cook pasta. Meanwhile, heat oil in a frying pan and saute onions until just beginning to soften. Add yellow pepper and garlic, and once everything has softened and onions are translucent, pour in the clam juice and white wine and add all of your seasonings, except the fresh tarragon. Once the liquid has reduced to about half, toss in your snails and tarragon, and simmer until everything is nice and hot. Serve over the pasta, top with the grated cheese and black pepper, and shake your hand for being an adventurer.

Friday, October 28, 2011


Single serving muffins for solo missions.

- 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
- 1 tbsp oatmeal
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3 packets splenda
- 1/2 ripe banana, mashed
- handful of mixed berries
- 1/2 tsp canola oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp milk
- handful chopped walnuts
- 1 tbsp sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all the dry ingredients. In another bowl mash the banana with the milk and oil, add to the dry ingredients and then stir in the berries. Grease a small baking dish or a single cup on a muffin tray, scoop out the batter and sprinkle on top with the walnuts. Bake for about 15 minutes, and just before it's done, sprinkle with the tablespoon of sugar and give it a brief blast under the broiler so it gets nice and crunchy on top, but be careful that the walnuts don't burn.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Honey Butter Carrots with Tarragon

You know what's great about winter crops? You hardly have to do anything but pick them.
Big ups to winter crops out of my garden.
Especially for the love I didn't show them - I just dropped some seeds in the ground last fall and forgot.
Carrots, Swiss chard. Awesome
Went nice with some broiled fish.

HoneyButter Carrots with Tarragon

- 1/2 lb garden carrots, cut in rounds
- 1/8 c vegetable broth
- pinch salt
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp fresh tarragon, minced
Toss carrots into a frying pan with the vegtabe broth, cover and let cook until carrots have softened. Stir in the butter and then honey and continue to cook on low heat until most of the liquid is reduced. Sprinkle witht he tarragon, stir, and serve hot.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Peanut Butter Jelly French Toast

PB and J breakfastfest.
There is nothing not to like about this unless you don't like peanut butter, don't like jelly, or don't like French Toast, in which case you're not allowed to talk and shouldn't have come here anyway.

Peanut Butter Jelly French Toast
- 2 slices whole wheat bread
- honey roasted peanut butter
- blueberry preserves
- cinnamon
- 1/4 c egg whites
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp maple extract

Spread PB and Jelly on the two slices of bread, dust the PB side with cinnamon and then put the two together to form a sandwich. Next, mix the egg whites with the sugar and the maple extract and pour onto a plate. Coat a small skillet with butter-flavored cooking spray, dip both sides of the sandwich into the egg white mixture until all the liquid is absorbed and throw it in the pan right away. Pour out any remaining egg whites into skillet, and cook sandwich till golden brown and crispy on each side and all liquid has seeped out and cooked up. Enjoy as is or with whipped cream, or a drop or two of that sweet elixir called maple syrup !

Beet Salad

This salad hails from my days spent as a Russian, and is only one of the many, many types of beet salads out there in that Slavic world.
This particular salad is called Vinagrette, and though like all salads it has many variations, its general components are usually the eponymous beets, apple, onion, cucumber, pickles, parsley or possible dill. I didn't have any pickles or cucumber, and no parsley, but I had beets, onion, apple and dill. You basically chop it all up, mix it all together, and let it marinate in a sweetened vinegar in the fridge until wanted for eating.
It keeps well, tastes good, and is probably full of vitamins.

Beet Salad
- 2 roasted beets, cubed (can used canned)
- 1/2 small sweet onion, diced
- 1/2 tart apple, diced
- fresh dill, chopped
- 1/4 c red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar

As said above, chop everything up, mix everything together, combine the sugar and vinegar and pour over top of the beet-apple-onion mixture, sprinkle with dill, stir it all up and stick it in the fridge to wait for you. Optionally, you can lightly dry-saute (w/out oil) the onions a bit to intensify their sweetness before adding.

linked up at Side Dish Saturdays over at Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice

Vegetarian Sukiyaki Broccoli

Sukiyaki is a Japanese traditional dish of thin-sliced meet and onions and mushrooms and such boiled in a sweetened soy broth and eaten over rice. I did away with the meat and used seitan to make it veggie instead, and threw in a bunch of steamed broccoli because that's how I roll.
Easy to make, easy to like, and an excellent excuse to break out the Sri Racha hot sauce and go to town.

Vegetarian Sukiyaki Broccoli

- seitan (enough for 1), sliced
- 1/2 sweet onion, sliced
- 1/2 c mushrooms, sliced
- 1 c steamed broccoli pieces
- 1/4 rice vinegar
- 1/4 mirin
- 1/4 teriyaki sauce

Heat oil in a pan until very hot and then toss in the onions and saute till just beginning to soften. Throw in the seitan and then the mushrooms, and stir constantly to prevent burning. Reduce heat to low and add in the vinegar and mirin and then the teriyaki sauce and let the whole thing simmer for about 5 minutes (you may need to add more of the liquids). Finally, add in the broccoli and continue to simmer until heated through. Serve and enjoy.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

"Braisin" French Toast

Banana, raisin. Get it? ?
Pass the syrup.

Braisin and Bold French Toast
- 2 slices whole wheat bread
- 1 ripe banana
- cinnamon
- handful of raisins
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tbsp milk

In a small Tupperware, cover raisins with a little water and microwave for a few seconds to soften them, then drain them and set aside. Cut the banana 3/4 of the way down, saving the smaller piece to slice thin and top the finished toast with. Mash the bigger piece with the cinnamon and then add in the raisins and then spread the mix on one of the pieces of bread and seal it up with the second piece to make a sandwich. Mix the egg whites with the milk and then dip each side of the sandwich in the mix until all of the egg whites are absorbed. Coat a skillet with butter-flavored cooking spray and cook the sandwich until golden brown on each side, then top with sliced bananas and enjoy.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake w/ Mocha Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

I was commissioned to make up a cake for a surprise party.
She likes chocolate, banana bread, and mocha.
Easy enough.
But baking for 40 people is no joke.
I was baking, literally, all day.
But it was worth it.
This cake was awesome. And I don't like cake.


(makes 2 thin cake layers)
- 1 stick sweet cream butter
- 1 c sugar
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1 c mashed ripe banana
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 c flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 c buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 c dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 35o, grease and flour cake pans. Cream butter and sugar and then beat in the egg yolks, then the mashed banana and the cinnamon until well mixed. This will infuse the banana flavor all through the cake. In a separate bowl, sift and whisk together all dry ingredients, then add to the wet mixture and stir gently until all mixed. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form and then fold them into the batter, then toss the chocolate chips with a tablespoon of flour and mix them in as well. Pour into the prepared cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes until the toothpick trick comes out clean, and let the cakes cool for 10 minutes before you removing them from the pans and leaving to cool completely before icing.

...and speaking of icing:

Mocha Whipped CreamCheese Icing
- 1 pckg cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 c whipping cream
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp instant coffee powder
- 1 to 2 c powdered sugar

Beat whipping cream on high till stiff peaks form. In another bowl beat cream cheese and then add the cocoa and coffee powders, mix well, and then beat in the sugar. Finally, gently fold in the whipped cream, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to set for at least 2 hours in the fridge before using.

* extra frosting can be frozen and scooped out like ice cream for those of you who want to take that brave and delicious, but diabetes inducing step. i did. no regrets. no re grets ;)

Monday, September 19, 2011

White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

What the hell could be better than this?
- 1/2 c (1 stick) butter, softened (can use light butter)
- 1/2 c light brown sugar packed
- 1/2 c white sugar (or sugar sub)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 c white flour
- 1/2 c whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/4 c oatmeal
- 3/4 c dried cranberries
- 1/2 c white chocolate chips (add more to your tastes)

Preheat oven to 375. In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, and then beat in the egg and the vanilla. In a large bowl combine flours, baking powder and soda, salt and cinnamon, stir in the wet ingredients and then the oatmeal. Lastly, carefully stir in the cranberries and the white chocolate chips and then let the batter sit and firm up in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
Use spoons to scoop balls of dough onto greased baking sheets and flatten each ball down a little bit before baking for 8 to 10 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are golden brown and crispy.
Confucius say Dunk your Cookie.

White Cocolate and Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

When I got assigned Taylor's blog GREENS and CHOCOLATE as my first Secret Recipe Club assignment, I was excited. When I actually went to her blog page though, I was even more excited. The first post that caught my eye was her Chai Spiced Cinnamon Chip Blondies, and I said "Oooo I want to make that", and then I saw the Avalanche Bars and said "no, THAT!" and then her Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting and the Peanut Butter M&M Blondies and I didn't even know what to do anymore...
Indeed, Taylor seems to be some sort of a baking goddess, with a special penchant for combinging everything I love - like peanut butter, cinnamon, chai, smores - into delicious baked good creations. But her talents clearly aren't isolated to baked delicacies like Blueberry and White Chocolate Oat Bars , no, she had me practically drooling over her Maple Bacon Baked Beans post. The point is, while I had to choose just one recipe to post, you don't! Go, and run don't walk, to Taylor's GREENS and CHOCOLATE blog, and make EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!
While trying to decide which recipe to try out, it was clear that I had to try one from Taylor's special skill-set of baking, and while I was initially distracted by all kinds of blondies, cookies and brownies catering to my inordinate love of peanut butter, I have strangly been craving something I don't go for very often; White Chocolate. So, when I saw Taylor's recipe for White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies, my mission was clear.
Honestly, I'm not a huge baked goods guy. I don't like cake or cupcakes, and on brownies and the like I could go either way. But I LOVE pies and cookies, and by cookies I mean Oatmeal cookies. There's nothing as good as a soft and chewy oatmeal cookie studded with raisins and anything else that you can squeeze in there, and with just a few personal tweaks on my part, these cookies were nothing short of amazing.Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, the tartness of the dried cranberries went especially awesome with the creamy sweetness of the white chocolate chips. I started out with a sample of batch 1, and being a good chef, felt obligated to sample batch 2 as well. But I just couldn't decide which was better and had to try another of each again. The verdict? They were both AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME, and I didn't even think twice about having just eaten cookies for dinner.
So, don't just take my word for it, go to the store, buy the stuff, and make these White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies, and while you're munching away in chewy-sweet goodness, check out Taylor's blog GREENS and CHOCOLATE and figure out what to make next!
- 1/2 c (1 stick) butter, softened (can use light butter)
- 1/2 c light brown sugar packed
- 1/2 c white sugar (or sugar sub)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 c white flour
- 1/2 c whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/4 c oatmeal
- 3/4 c dried cranberries
- 1/2 c white chocolate chips (add more to your tastes)

Preheat oven to 375. In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, and then beat in the egg and the vanilla. In a large bowl combine flours, baking powder and soda, salt and cinnamon, stir in the wet ingredients and then the oatmeal. Lastly, carefully stir in the cranberries and the white chocolate chips and then let the batter sit and firm up in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
Use spoons to scoop balls of dough onto greased baking sheets and flatten each ball down a little bit before baking for 8 to 10 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are golden brown and crispy.
Lastly, let these babies cool for an agonizing 10 minutes or so before pouring yourself a big glass of milk, and digging, I mean DUNKING in!!!!!
Secret Recipe Club

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Red Onion Tomato Relish with Cilantro

This is like caramelized onions on crack.
Cilantro and alcohol infused tomato crack.

Red Onion Tomato Relish with Cilantro
- 1 large red onion, sliced thin
- salt
- 1/3 c rice vinegar
- 1/3 c brandy
- 1/3 c water
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1/3 c sun dried tomatoes, julienne cut
- 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, minced

In a cast iron skillet, heat olive oil and when hot, add your onions. Sprinkle with salt and stir. Next, pour in the vinegar and brandy, sprinkle with garlic powder, stir and let simmer covered until onions have become soft. Add the tomatoes and the water, stir and let simmer covered until onions are very soft, almost mushy, and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, stir in the minced cilantro, and enjoy over grilled fish or chicken.
I served this on grilled Mahi Mahi with Oven-Fried Green Tomatoes

Oven-Fried Green Tomatoes

So many green tomatoes.
must. not. waste.
Oven-Fried Green Tomatoes
- green tomatoes, sliced in 1/2'' rounds
- 1/2 c panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 regular bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp Old Bay seasoning
- 1 egg

Preheat oven. Slice tomatoes. Crack egg. Beat egg. Combine all dry ingredients.

Put your baking sheets in the oven to get hot, and meanwhile dump the beaten egg onto a plate and half of the bread crumb mixture onto another plate, and now you're set up and ready to start dipping. Dip the sliced tomatoes in the egg, let excess drip off, and then toss it in the bread crumbs, to coat on each side. Bake for 10 minutes and then give them a spray with cooking spray before flipping and cooking on the other side for about 5 minutes. When brown and crispy, remove from oven and serve immediately. Ketchup is optional, seconds are not.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Baked Honey Mustard Chicken

Honey Mustard Chicken; it rarely gets better than this...
Until you serve it with Savory Garlic Israeli Couscous.
Honey Mustard Baked Chicken

- Chicken thighs and breasts ;)
- 2 tbsp stone ground dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp honey mustard
- 1 tbsp sour cream
- 1/4 light honey mustard salad dressing
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 sweet onion, sliced
- dried dill
- smoked paprika
Mix mustards, sour cream, salad dressing and vinegar together in a bowl, then coat chicken and let this marinate for at least 2 hours in the fridge.
When ready to cook, preheat oven to 375 and place chicken in a casserole dish and sprinkle with the dried dill and smoked paprika. Finally, top with the sliced onions and cover with aluminum foil before baking for about 30 to 40 minutes.
* you might want to think about flipping the chicken over halfway through. I did this, but I am not sure that it was necessary. Also you could uncover and broil it for a minute before serving to see if this would add any crispiness.