Showing posts with label recipe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label recipe. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Homemade Dog Biscuits


This past Sunday was Lilah's fifth birthday. While she is starting to grey a little in the chin, when most people ask us how old she is, they are shocked to find out that she's not one or two years of age. We've been told by many of our friends that she has mellowed out considerably in these five years, but she truly is one of the happiest dogs I've ever met and just doesn't slow down.

Andrew and I usually give Lilah something special for her birthday, so this year we decided to make her some biscuits. They were quick and simple to make and boy does she love them! Between her high level of energy and the fact that she snarfed her biscuit down so quickly, I gave up all hope of capturing a photo of her for this blog post. After glancing at several recipes, I decided that I could have a go at making my own concoction that would please Lilah based on some of her very favorite things. This recipe includes simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry, and is fairly healthy. Lilah will eat just about anything and can put on a few extra pounds quite quickly if we're not too careful, so I kept that in mind. In addition, we've still only been giving her one biscuit about every other day so as not to overdo it.

Homemade Dog Biscuits

What You'll Need
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth (please make sure it is low sodium! too much salt is not good!)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 mashed banana
Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix flour, oats, and baking powder. Stir in the broth, peanut butter, and banana until the dough comes together. Form the dough into a ball on a floured counter. Kneed the dough for about 30 seconds to make the dough smooth. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to about a third of an inch thickness. Use a dog bone shaped cookie cutter to cut biscuits and place the biscuits on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes until the biscuits are crunchy.

And from one dog family to another, we hope that your pups enjoy these biscuits as much as Lilah does!

Do you celebrate your dog's birthday? Have you made dog biscuits before? I'd love to hear about your recipes!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Oatmeal Coconut Cookies


Yesterday was Saint Patrick's Day (as you all know), but instead of the normal sunshine and 65 degree weather we tend to have around this time of year, we got dumped on by several inches of snow. This winter in Baltimore has been rough. I mean really, really rough. I've really tried to stay positive through it all and hopeful of warmer weather making it's way into the forecast, but I'd say I'm probably not alone in this city (or this country, for that matter) when I say I almost feel like it has gotten the better of me. So when the snow started falling on Sunday night, I decided I would make the best of the situation and at least make cookies. After all, who doesn't like to eat cookies while stuck inside the house with the snow swirling outside. And nothing makes you feel more warm and cozy than some of your mom's best cookies, so I busted out an old favorite my mom had baked many a time.



These oatmeal coconut cookies may be the best on the planet. They are soft and chewy and last for weeks! I might sound crazy, but the back story is that when my mom was in college, she drove from Indiana to Santa Fe to visit her aunt. She had made a batch of these cookies to munch on in the car. Upon returning to Indiana, she forgot about the cookies until finding a bag of them under her car seat about a month later. Laughing at the entire scenario, she decided to taste one to see if they still were any good, and sure enough, they were just as good as they had been a month prior! So while the "official" name of this recipe is Oatmeal Coconut Cookies, the other name in our family is Oatmeal Coconut Cookies that Stay Good.

 Oatmeal Coconut Cookies

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups flour
Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter and sugars. Mix in eggs. Mix in coconut and rolled oats. Add the flour, soda, and baking powder. Shape in to one inch balls and place onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until edges start to brown.



Monday, August 5, 2013

Apricot Mini Cakes Recipe


One thing that I love about summer is the bounty of delicious fruit that it brings. When I spotted this recipe for apricot mini cakes, I knew I needed to try it. I love light desserts that are fresh and not too sweet, and these cakes are just perfect! Just enough tartness from the apricot and a little bit sweet in the cake batter and a sprinkle of sugar on top. And they're light enough to enjoy one or two after a big summer grilling meal.


Apricot Mini Cakes

What you'll need

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 apricots
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar for sprinkling

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy. Add in the egg, lemon zest, and vanilla and incorporate well. Add in the flour mixture alternately with the milk in two additions, ending with the flour. Pour a small amount of batter into a greased cupcake tin (should make 12 cakes!). Halve and pit the apricots and slice them into quarter inch slices. Place a few apricot slices on top of the batter in each cup. Sprinkle each cake with the 2 Tablespoons of sugar. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the tops are golden.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Maryland Blue Crab Tacos with Fresh Salsa

I may not have been born and raised in Baltimore, but there is one thing that I have definitely embraced wholeheartedly in the six years I've lived here-- Maryland blue crabs. Steamed crabs, crab pretzels, crab cakes, crab dip, and even crab sushi are just a few things that I've been able to enjoy. There was even one week when I had crab four days in a row. It's just delicious! I might even venture to say that during the summer months, the only thing that might come to a close second to my beloved tacos would be crab. So when Paige suggested a taco party, my recipe of choice was obvious-- crabs plus tacos equals crab tacos. The end.


Maryland Blue Crab Tacos with Fresh Salsa

What you'll need

  • 3 vine ripened tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
  • the juice of one lime
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh ground black pepper and kosher salt
  • 1/2 sliced green onions
  • 1 glove garlic
  • 1 large jalepeno, seeded and diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • half a pound of jumbo lump crab meat
  • 1 avocado
  • romaine lettuce
  • shredded colby jack cheese

Directions

Combine tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, green onions, 3/4 of the jalepeno, and salt and pepper to taste. This is your fresh salsa. I like to prepare this ahead of time so that flavors can soak in while I prepare the rest of my meal.

Saute the remainder of the jalepeno with the diced onion with a small drizzle of olive oil for about 4-5 minutes. Add the crab meat to the saute pan and continue to cook over low heat for a few minutes until the crab is warmed through. Be sure to be gentle when stirring the crab so that you don't break the lump crab up too much. We want nice juicy pieces!

Serve the crab on warmed flour or corn tortillas. Top each taco with the shredded cheese, fresh salsa, some chopped romaine lettuce and a couple slices of avocado. Enjoy!


Want some more taco recipes? Be sure to check out the other recipes from Paige's taco party!

Paige's Quick and Easy Veggie Tacos
Kristen's Marinated Grilled Steak Tacos
Meg's Shrimp Tacos with Red Cabbage Cilantro Slaw
Melissa's Barbequed Salmon with Blueberry Freca and Chipotle Crema Taco Taster
Marieken's Ricotta, Cheese, and Arugula Tacos

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sonoma Chicken Salad Recipe


Several summers ago, before I moved to Baltimore, I worked for a friend who owned a bagel shop. At lunch he would serve not just bagels, but sandwiches as well. One of the menu items was a Sonoma Chicken Salad Sandwich. I have never been a huge fan of chicken salad, but this salad has become one that I truly love. It is fresh tasting, flavorful, and perfect to make in a large batch to have for lunches throughout the week. I opt to serve the chicken salad in pitas rather than bread which makes it more manageable to eat as chicken salad can sometimes get messy. We even took Sonoma Chicken Salad pitas to the Orioles game on Tuesday night for dinner!



Sonoma Chicken Salad (adapted from here)

What you'll need
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 5 tsp honey
  • 4 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds
  • 3 poached chicken breasts, shredded
  • 2 cups of red seedless grapes
  • 3 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Directions

Poach chicken breasts and then shred into small pieces using your fingers or a fork. Let chicken cool and refrigerate while making the dressing. In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, honey, vinegar, mustard, and poppy seeds. Refrigerate the dressing while chopping the celery and pecans. Using a small knife, slice the grapes in half. Add the grapes, celery, pecans, and chicken to the large bowl with the dressing and thoroughly incorporate all ingredients. Serve in pitas. If I have some on hand, I often serve with a few pieces of lettuce to line the pita.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Iced Vodka with Cucumber, Lemon, and Mint Recipe

We love fresh herbs in the summer, so we have planters full of them on our back patio. Our mint plant, a hearty specimen that has lived through several winters, is growing wildly. We use the fresh mint for salads, mint tea, and of course mojitos. I'm not always one to stick to the same thing and enjoy other options when it comes to summer refreshments, so I set out to create a new and tasty concoction. With an abundance of mint, a bowl full of organic lemons on our kitchen counter, and several cucumbers in the fridge, I put together this refreshing iced vodka that just might be my new favorite summer cocktail.


Iced Vodka with Cucumber, Lemon, and Mint

What you'll need
  • 2 sprigs of mint, one for muddling and one for garnish
  • 1 lemon
  • 5 slices of cucumber
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 oz vodka
  • club soda
  • ice

Directions

Pick the leaves off of one sprig of mint, squeeze the juice of half of a lemon, and add sugar to an 8 oz glass. Muddle the mint, lemon juice, and sugar until the mint is well bruised. Fill the glass with 4-5 ice cubes. Pour 2 oz of vodka over the mint and ice. Top with club soda and add cucumber slices and lemon slices from the leftover half of lemon. Stir with a swizzle stick until the glass is frosty. Garnish with the remaining sprig of mint.

Enjoy! What are your favorite summer cocktails?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Easy Blueberry Muffins

I miss you guys. Seriously, I do. I honestly wish I had enough time in the day to put together an awesome blog post or two for you to read, but it just hasn't been possible. In case you thought Valentine's season couldn't get busier than it already was, think again. My friend Kristen came to the rescue this morning for you all with this wonderful recipe to share. So without further ado, Kristen, take it away! (P.S. I might owe Kristen my life or something after this one! Ok, maybe not quite thaaaat drastic, but you get what I mean! She's at least my personal hero for today! Oh, and snarkity snark, snark. Some of you may have mentioned that you miss my snarky blog posts so I needed to throw that in there. Ok, I'm done now. Really. I am.) Take it away, Kristen!

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Hello, Row House readers! I'm so happy to be here today!  Heidi is currently running herself into the ground printing, folding, and sending out hundreds of cute butt cards, so I offered to pop by and do a post for you all so she can continue to make everyone's Valentine's day a little bit happier.

I'm here to give you a quick and simple recipe for the best blueberry muffins ever.  Yes, ever.  They're super quick and require few ingredients and we're on our second batch in just a few days' time.



Gather:

1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1 egg

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Do:

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix well for even distribution.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients (aka make a bowl-shaped pit in the flour but don't get all the way down to the bottom of the bowl).  In a small bowl, combine the wet ingredients.  Pour the wet ingredients into the flour well and mix until just combined.  Add the blueberries to the batter and fold in carefully as to not break the berries.

In a standard sized 12-muffin tin, fill each well 2/3 of the way with batter.  Bake for 18-20 minutes at 400 degrees until the edges start to brown lightly.  Cool for a few minutes and then move the muffins to a wire cooking rack.

Or, do what we do and take them out of the pan piping hot and eat them.  Either way.  Just don't get burned.

I mean, just look at the results:




I can honestly mix these up with my three-year-old helping me and it takes about five minutes (with him pouring and stirring).  Give them a try!

I'd love for you to stop by and say hi (though you may see this post again....soon).

Monday, January 28, 2013

White Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am the cookie maker in my family. Well, I guess that's sort of a lie because my mom and sister both make cookies too, but recently it seems that when my family has gotten together around the holidays they look forward to my cookies-- especially the ginger molasses and white chocolate chip cookies. This past holiday season was no exception. I made both recipes, wrapped them in cookie tins, and packed the tins up in our luggage we took with us on our way to Colorado.

I would be lying if I weren't to say that the white chocolate chip cookies are my favorite. When baked just perfectly, they have almost a brownie-like texture. And I always choose to use really good white chocolate (none of that Nestle white chocolate chip crap!) which I'm almost certain makes this cookie just that good. During our stay in Colorado, one bite into a chocolate cookie, my sister asked me if she could have my recipe and I promised her that I would write a blog post about them. A month passed and I still hadn't written the blog post, so finally, today, I am sharing it with you all. However, this one especially goes out to my sister!



Ingredients
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa (I use Hershey's)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of soft butter (2 sticks)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pound (16oz) white chocolate (I used Lindt white chocolate bars chopped into smaller pieces or Ghirardelli white chocolate chips)
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar together until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in baking cocoa. While continuing to mix, slowly add in flour, salt, and soda until you have a smooth consistency and the flour is fully incorporated. Finally, slowly stir in white chocolate by the handful, until it has been evenly distributed within the dough.

Once the cookie dough is ready, scoop tablespoon sized amounts of dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. If you want the cookies to turn out perfectly round, I use my palms to make the dough into a sphere. Once the cookie sheet if filled, bake cookies for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, rotate the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 4 more minutes. After the 4 minutes is up, take the cookies out of the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for two minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. I have found these times to be perfect for a moist and delicious cookie. Letting the cookies cool on the baking sheet for those two extra minutes is huge as well!

I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as I do! Let it be known that I ate the last two while I wrote this blog post! ;)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Recipe: Stuffed Peppers

I must have jinxed us because right after I wrote about it feeling like spring in the middle of January, a cold snap arrived and it was a lovely 21 degrees today with a wind chill of 8. Brrrrrrrr. I don't know about you, but you'd think I could handle this weather after spending five years of my life in snowy, cold Syracuse, New York. However, I've acclimated to balmier temperatures of the south (ok, more like mid-Atlantic) here in Baltimore and I, quite frankly, don't have time to mess around with weather like this!

Last night, we wanted a meal that would warm us up and stick to our ribs. Being in full swing of Valentine season and the shop being busier than ever, I also needed something that I could throw together quickly for dinner. Having bought a ton of green peppers at the grocery store the other day, we decided to go with stuffed peppers. They definitely hit the spot!

Ingredients
  • 4 large green bell peppers, cored and hallowed out
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked white rice
  • one small onion, diced
  • one clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • a few dashes of cayenne
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Hallow out green peppers and set aside. Prepare your rice (about 3/4 cup dry rice will make 1 1/2 cups cooked). While rice is cooking, brown the ground beef along with the onion and garlic. Add spices to ground beef mixture. When rice is cooked, stir rice into ground beef mixture. Using a large spoon, fill green peppers with filling. Top off green peppers with cheddar cheese and place peppers upright in a baking dish. Bake for 25-35 minutes at 350. Peppers should be soft and tender and cheese should just be browning when the are finished. Serve with a dollop of sour cream (and a decent glass of red wine if you're like me!).

What recipes have you been enjoying lately?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Hearty Beef Stew for Winter

I struggle with winter. Definitely struggle. I don't want to get out of bed because it is cold and dark. And I don't want to leave the house because I know my hands and toes won't be warm again for the rest of the day as soon as that cold air hits. As much as I would love to be a lazy homebody and stay in all day in these chilly months, we all know that's not realistic. Instead I opt for cooking to warm me up, and thankfully there are a few recipes that let me be a little lazy as well.

One of my favorites is a quick to prepare beef stew that is perfect for a hearty evening meal. I'm not a big fan of using the crock pot for everything as I think it tends to make things a little mushy. However, stew is one of those things that I definitely like to use it for. The end result is super moist beef and tender vegetables.
Ingredients
1 pound of beef (I get the pre-cut stewing beef at the grocery)
3 potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 carrots, cut into large chunks
1 stalk of celery, sliced
1 onion, cut into wedges
1 large can of whole cooked tomatoes
1/4 cup flour
2 cups vegetable or beef broth
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf

Directions
Wash and prepare vegetables. In a crock pot, mix beef cubes with flour, salt, and pepper until beef is fully coated. Add remaining ingredients to the crock pot and stir ingredients until well mixed. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours or on high for 4-6 hours.

What winter weather recipes have you been cooking lately?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cinnamon Coffeecake

Some weekends I can feel the chill that surrounds me outside of the covers. I don't want to move or get out of bed and would prefer that a cup of coffee magically appears in front of me. And if I try hard enough, I can almost smell the cinnamon wafting up the stairs from the oven like it did when I was a kid and my mom was making coffeecake for breakfast. Then reality hits.

1) I am going to have to get out of bed at some point and face the treacherous task of putting bare feet to cold wood floor planks, all while cursing the fact that I left my slippers just a tad bit too far away from the bed the night before.

2) My mom is 10 hours away in Indiana and the coffeecake isn't going to bake by itself. That cinnamon smell was only a dream I was waking from as the cat was punching me in the mouth with his paw, begging for his breakfast.

Thankfully, there is hope. It just so happens that the cinnamon coffeecake that I'm talking about takes literally five minutes to whip up and get into the oven. And when all is said and done, it tastes just like I remember as a kid. Maybe I had to trade getting out of bed for a tasty morsel for breakfast, but it is most definitely worth it and makes for the perfect start of my day.

Cinnamon Coffeecake

Batter:
1 1/2 cups of flour
3 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
1 egg
3/4 cup of milk

Topping:
2 Tablespoons melted butter
2 Tablespoons flour
1/2 cup of brown sugar
2 teaspoons of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375. Mix the topping ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients to make the batter. Add melted butter. Mix in the egg and milk. Grease a square baking pan with butter or cooking spray. Using a spatula, layer half of the batter on the bottom of the baking pan. Sprinkle half of the topping over the batter. Repeat with the other half of the batter and topping. Bake at 375 for about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean in the center.
 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Spiced Pumpkin Soup

As the autumn air becomes chillier, it has become entirely necessary to add more soups to the weekly menu. Some night you want nothing more than a warm bowl of soup accompanied by bread and butter. I had one of those nights recently and had run the gamut of soups that are my usual go to's and needed something new. Thanks to Erika and her suggestion that I check out her amazing Pinterest board chock full of delicious soups, I stumbled across a recipe for a Sweet Spiced Pumpkin Soup. While the soup sounded quite tasty, I wasn't sure that I was in the mood for sweet-- I was thinking more earthy spices and stick to your ribs kind of soup. So I started with some of the main ingredients and adapted as I went. The final outcome was just what I had hoped for-- a hearty soup that warmed me up and tasted absolutely fantastic. I amped up the curry powder just a bit to give it a little extra kick and it turned out perfectly! This will definitely be a recipe that I will come back to.


Spiced Pumpkin Soup

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
half of an onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
1 can of pumpkin
1 can of coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons yellow curry powder

In a large soup pot, melt butter. Add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic and saute until the onions are transparent. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer until the carrots and celery are tender. Use a hand-held blender to blend the soup in the pot until smooth. If you don't have a hand-held blender, you can transfer small amounts of the soup at a time to a standard blender or food processor.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Soup and Beans and Low-Meat Meals

Today we begin the long trek home from Grand Teton National Park. It is so sad to say goodbye to these beautiful mountains, but it will be wonderful to get back home. My bloggy friend Kristen from milo and molly is taking over the blog today while we make our way back home. And to you, dear friends, I will see you sometime next week after our three day driving fest comes to an end.

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Hello, lovely Row House 14 readers!  I'm Kristen and I am a stay-at-home mom of two and owner of the Etsy shop milo and molly, where I sell paper goods and sewn gifts, and I also keep a blog by the same name where I chronicle our never-ending house projects, shop stuff, recipes, sewing projects and the like.

 
On my blog recently I posted a plea for low-on-meat or meatless recipes.  You see, we are a meat-loving family, but in an effort to trim the fat (ha ha) from the budget and eat a little lighter, I'm trying to gather recipes using more beans, lentils, pasta, and so on.  I had some wonderful comments left, recipe links tweeted to me, and one lone soul used my link-up (thanks, everyone!).

I decided I wanted to update my readers on some of the recipes I tried, and then I got a really great idea, and then Heidi said she was going on vacation and would I like to guest-post, to which of course I said yes, and so I thought that this might be just the right place to share my idea while also begging for more recipes.

So, first an update on what I've made:

One recipe suggested by Paige was Ham and White Beans done in the slow cooker.  I have grown to love my slow cooker.  We are on the type of schedule where we decide to run to Home Depot or some other house-related errand at four o'clock in the afternoon, getting us home right when we should be eating.  With the slow cooker, dinner is pretty much made and I can just serve it up.  Time saver, sanity saver.  This meal was delicious and I highly recommend it.  Notes: I did not have a ham bone.  I used a half a pound of cut up deli-sliced ham instead and it was just fine.  I also added asparagus so vegetables would already be included, and because I'm not great with cooking asparagus so I figured the slow cooker would take care of that (it did).




I've decided I'm not cooking beans any other way.  My hubs loves real beans, as in a bag of dried ones and not the already cooked ones in a can.  I actually like them better too, and they're better for you, but you have to plan ahead for them by soaking them overnight and then they need to cook the day of generally between 1-2 hours.  Since dinner planning around here often occurs at dinnertime, real beans doesn't always work.  I'm telling you, all you do is put your beans in the slow cooker, cover them with 4-6 cups of water and let them go for 8 hours on low.  Talk about set it and forget it.

I also made this Food Network favorite, which yields plenty of leftovers.  I always serve it with prosciutto bread, which is probably the reason we like the soup so much in the first place.  The photo below is from the reboot lunch the next day because I totally forgot to snap a shot that evening.  As you can see, no bread in sight.  They're both so easy and so good, and this soup is packed with veggies.





I saved all the recipe suggestions plus some others I've found on two new Pinterest boards: Slow Cooker and Soup and Beans, which is actually more than just soup and beans but I liked how it matched the name of the original post.  This is when I got my great idea.  I would love to make those two Pinterest boards collective boards, shared by us all to pin for the common good of busy people who want to slow cook their beans or eat a lot of soup.  If you make something, you can leave a comment on the pin and tell us all how it went.  Fun, right?

If you'd like access to the board, please comment with your Pinterest user name and I'll add you on as a pinner!  (I think that's how it goes.  I haven't made a collective board yet.)  The only rule is no deleting a recipe that's been posted.  If you're more comfortable, feel free to e-mail me at milomollyshop (at) gmail (dot) com.  If you have a recipe to share, please post a link in the comments, or tell me what it's made of, or come by my post and comment or link-up.

Thanks for hanging out with me today, and I hope you'll come by and visit!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Five Ingredient Summer Pasta Salad

We're well into our trip by now spending tonight in Custer State Park in South Dakota after a day of hiking and visiting Mount Rushmore. Today I'm excited to have one of my fabulous bloggy friends Paige filling in for me. You all know how much I love food, so Paige volunteered to share a recipe with you all while I'm gone.
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Greetings! I'm Paige from Little Nostalgia, filling in for Heidi while she's enjoying some R&R out west. Today I'm bringing you one of my favorite (read: easiest) new recipes for summer.


I'm a lazy cook. I'll readily admit that. I love to eat, and I've been watching the Food Network for years, but the actual cooking process still leaves me kind of cold. (I'd like the food to just magically appear before me, but that never seems to happen.) So when I do find myself faced with the task, I like to keep things as simple as possible.

Enter the Five Ingredient Summer Pasta Salad!

You'll need:
--8 oz. shell pasta (half a box)
--2 cans of tuna
--1 small to medium onion
--a few stems of parsley
--Italian dressing

The great thing about this recipe is that it's easy to double or triple if you're having a party. I only made this for the two people, so I kept the batch small.

What to do:
1. Cook the pasta. My only real cooking tip is to add a little salt to your water. Not only will it boil faster, but the pasta will taste better.

2. Drain the pasta and let it cool off for a while. Chop the onion and parsley if you haven't yet.

3. Mix together the pasta, tuna, onion, and parsley.

4. Add the Italian dressing (I did around 2 oz. but you can add more or less to taste) and stir again.

5. Let the salad chill in the fridge for a couple of hours. Then wolf it down.


See, easiest thing ever right? Now go on and make yourself some.

What's your favorite dish to have in the summer? Any other pasta salad recipes to share? Maybe you have another fun use for a plain ol' can of tuna?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Homemade Pita Chips and Garlic Hummus

With the recent never ending heat wave, I needed to find a snack that was refreshing and light. I resorted to one of my favorites that I've been making for quite some time now-- hummus. It is the perfect compliment to some refreshing carrots, peppers, or celery. Munch on the veggies, throw in a few pita chips, and add some hummus and I've got the perfect light lunch or afternoon snack.

These pita chips are super quick and easy to make and are just a bit spicy. And the hummus is fresh, light, and fluffy. I like to make a big batch of pita chips and then store them in a tupperware container. They usually last about a week and a half without starting to get a bit stale. In addition to being a great snack, it is also a favorite that I like to make for parties and other gatherings.

Garlic Hummus
  • 2 cans of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of tahini
  • 3 Tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Put all of the ingredients in a food processor and chop. Stir as needed. Once ingredients have been incorporated, use the puree setting (or the fastest setting) on your food processor to bring the hummus to a smooth and fluffy consistency, blending for about a minute or two. Store in the refrigerator up to a week.

Spicy Pita Chips
  • 6 pitas (six inch in size)
  • cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut each pita into 8 wedges, separating the layers from each wedge. Place the wedges evenly in one layer on two baking sheets that have been sprayed with cooking spray. Lightly spray the pita wedges with cooking spray. In a small bowl, mix the spices. Sprinkle the spices over the pita wedges. Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes. I usually check the pita chips every few minutes to make sure they aren't baked too long. They will be done when they are a nice, crispy, golden brown.

Hope you enjoy this quick and easy recipe and that you all are finding ways to stay cool!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Strawbery Banana Smoothie for a Post Run Refreshment

If there is one thing I am most certain about myself, it is that I am not a runner. I've always excelled in exercise that was focused around a sport. To me, running is torturous and boring. Competitive sports though are fun. And fun = not boring.

About three years ago I attempted to go running with Andrew. We took a nice little loop the whole way around Patterson Park. By the time we had made our way back to our street, I thought I was going to die, and I proclaimed, "That's it! I'm done! I'm walking the rest of the way!" The rest of the way, mind you, was only a block and a half.

Andrew began to laugh. He then said that it was funny that I couldn't at least jog the rest of the way to our house and that I had only run a quarter of a mile. I disagreed. I had definitely just ran more than a quarter of a mile! I was sure that I had run about a mile. Ok, not a lot, but a good starting place for someone that is pretty out of shape.

For the next week, Andrew continued to give me a hard time about my inability to jog more than a quarter of a mile. Finally, in an attempt to prove him wrong, I went to the computer, pulled up mapmyrun.com and plotted out our path from a week before. Sure enough, I was right. I had jogged more than a mile! I had jogged a mile and a quarter!

Long story short, I never went running again after this particular event. I told Andrew I had been traumatized. Give me a hard time about trying to get in shape when I've never been a runner to begin with? Yup, traumatic.

Until Monday.

On Monday morning, I woke up, put on my running shoes, and took a 10 minute jog. I know it wasn't a lot-- about half a mile. For whatever reason, I seemed to have thought this was going to be a good idea. It was a pretty crappy experience, but at least I didn't have anyone to make fun of me or tell me I had to run more. And maybe the next time, I'll go a little further.

You may find yourself wondering what this has to do with anything. I know I find myself wondering that a lot when it comes to some of my blog posts, so I'll try to get to the point of this post. After I went on my horrific and grueling half a mile jog, I was hungry. And hot. It was 9:13 in the morning and I wasn't even quite sure what I was doing up at this ungodly hour during my summer break anyway-- let alone going running! I needed a super awesome breakfast and something to cool me down, but I'm not much of a breakfast person. So I tossed together a few ingredients and made a delicious smoothie. I used to buy or make smoothies all the time when I lived in Australia and it had been much too long.


Monday's go to flavor was Strawberry Banana, but you could definitely use all sorts of fruit for this simple recipe. Sometimes I use mango, peach, or pineapple as well. The key though, I believe, is to use fresh fruit!

Toss these ingredients into a blender--
  • 1 1/2 cups of cut up strawberries
  • one banana
  • 1 cup of low fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
Blend everything until it is nice and smooth. I prefer to use low fat instead of nonfat yogurt. The nonfat yogurt tends to have weird additives in it that makes it nonfat. And I also use unsweetened 100% apple juice not from concentrate again for the same reasons.

Yuuuuummmy. It was just what I needed after my endless morning workout. And by endless, I mean ten minutes.

Anyone is the same boat as me when it comes to running? What tactics do you use to get yourself motivated to run?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Roof Deck Dinner Recipe ::: Round-Up Bean Casserole

It has been hot. And when I say hot, I mean the Baltimore kind of hot where there is so much humidity in the air that your skin pores can breath the instant you step out of the air-conditioned house. Combine the humidity with 95 degree, 99 degree heat index temps at 11:01am (yup, I'm writing this as we speak and have pulled up weather.com because I'm a weather nerd like that) and you are going to die when you walk out of that house. Well, you probably won't die, but it will at least feel like death until you are back in the A/C with an ice cold glass of water.

Yesterday, I did what any normal and sane person would do-- I played softball in this kind of weather. I was standing in the dugout, yes, just standing, and I felt the sweat drip from my forehead three minutes into the game. I did not die, thanks to chugging three bottles of water that were readily available, but once I got home and needed to make dinner, I didn't want to move a muscle.

These kinds of days happen more often than not in Baltimore. It is a shame because you know how much I love spending time outside. Luckily, believe it or not, our roof deck is the coolest place you could possibly find outdoors in this kind of weather. It has a nice breeze and the humidity is not nearly as bad. Plus there are usually no bugs. None of those awful mosquito bites!

So what to do for dinner on a night like this? Crock pot it up early on in the day, cook some corn really quickly, throw some greens on a plate, grab a good ol' IPA and you have a delicious dinner on a breezy roof deck.


This was the perfect summertime roof deck dinner. The baked bean casserole is a super easy recipe that my mom used to always make. It's a recipe that you usually bake, but in an attempt to avoid the heat of the oven I decided to try making it in the crock pot earlier in the day. Best idea ever. It turned out just as perfectly and left me with the chance to be lazy and enjoy summer break while it simmered in the crock pot.

Round-Up Bean Casserole

Fry together:
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
In your crock pot, mix a can of kidney beans, butter beans, and pinto beans. Mix together with meat and onion and the following mixture:
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • salt to taste
Set your crock pot to high and cook for 2 hours. Stir the casserole and cook at low or warm until ready to serve. If you choose to go the baked route instead, mix everything in a casserole dish and bake at 350 for an hour.

This casserole can serve as the perfect main course along with some other veggies, or as a baked bean side at a barbeque.

And as with any roof deck dinner, you can't forget to enjoy the sunset as an after dinner treat.


What summer foods have you been cooking up lately?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Santa Fe Black Bean Salad

For those of you that missed me the last few days, I am officially back! I took a quick trip up to New Jersey and New York City to visit a friend and attend a bridal shower of another friend. I had promised that later last week I would share the recipe to my black bean salad that so many of you requested. Obviously, I failed tremendously at getting it posted later that week. A busy week leading up to Spring Break plus our quick trip all led to me having no time. So what better way to get back to my blog than to finally share this recipe you've all been waiting for. And I can also now officially say that I'm on Spring Break for the entire week! Woohoo!



Santa Fe Black Bean Salad

2 15 ounce cans of back beans, drained
2 cups whole kernel corn
1 small onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tsp salt
1 avocado, diced
1 tomato, diced

Combine and toss ingredients, adding avocado and tomato right before serving. Serve with tortilla chips.

This is one of the most simple, yet flavorful recipes that I've made. I absolutely love making this when we have barbeques or backyard parties in the summer. It is perfect for a quick snack as well. The flavors really set in even more so by the second day, so I often quickly make it the night before I plan on eating it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Beef Tenderloin with Potato Risotto

I'm not one that usually needs meat in my life, but Andrew is part Irish, part English, and grew up with meat and potatoes on a regular basis. Aiming to please once in a while, and wanting to try something new, I decided to go the meat and potatoes route the other night. This beef tenderloin, accompanied by potato risotto, is a recipe that worked perfectly for a Friday date night at home. The tenderloin was seasoned just perfectly, and the potato risotto was rich and creamy-- a perfect side that I'll be sure to use with other meals.


Want to have a go at this delicious (and fairly simple) gourmet dinner? I'm happily passing on the recipe below.

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices, then 1/8-inch cubes
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 2 6-ounce beef tenderloin steaks
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Directions for the Potato Risotto

Melt butter with the onion in a large deep sauce pan. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until the onions are clear. Add the cubed potatoes and cayenne pepper, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the burner to medium heat and simmer until the potatoes are almost tender (about 8 minutes). Add cream and continue to simmer for about another 10 minutes. At this point, the potatoes will begin to hold their shape. You'll want to continue stirring the potatoes so they do not stick to the pan. Finally, stir in chives and the Parmesan cheese.

Directions for the Tenderloin

Sprinkle coarse salt, pepper, and thyme on both sides of the steak. Rub the spices into each side of the steak. Heat the olive oil in a skillet on a medium-high burner. When the oil is heated, add the steaks and cook until they are done as desired. I found that for a medium steak, each side needed 4-5 minutes.


This meal went fabulously with a red glass of wine and the best chocolate cake ever. We enjoyed a bottle of La Posta Cocina Malbec with the meal which ended up being the perfect pairing! What have you been cooking up in the kitchen lately?

P.S. I know a lot of you have been requesting my black bean salad recipe, so stay tuned for that recipe in the next few days! :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Chocolate Layer Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting

When I was in high school, I used to bake desserts for the coffee shop in my hometown called The Electric Brew. I would spend the day at school and the afternoons and early evenings baking. In that time, I baked hundreds of cookies, muffins, cakes, quick breads, brownies, and other assorted things. And I got pretty good at it. I had a lot of experience going into it all considering that my mom is a baker and owns the best European-style break bakery in the area (I'm not being biased!) called Rachel's Bread.

I asked Andrew last week if there was anything in particular that he wanted to eat for dinner this week, and his response was just, "Desserts. You make the best desserts." So on a quest to come through for him, and with the excitement of getting back to what I'm truly the best at in the kitchen, I scoured the web for a new recipe to try. And what I found was the most delectable chocolate cake I think I've ever had. Mind you, it may be incredibly rich and take a bit of time to make, but in the end, I guarantee it is all worth it!



Ingredients for the Cake
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature for 30 minutes
  • 2 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
Ingredients for the Frosting
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces and softened
  • 8 oz milk chocolate, melted and cooled (I used a little under 2 Lindt milk chocolate bars)
  • 2 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled

Directions for the Cake

Pre-heat the oven to 350. In a stand-up mixer, cream sugars and butter until nice and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Incorporate chocolate and vanilla until smooth. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Mix in flour mixture and buttermilk alternately. Pour the batter into 2 greased, round cake pans and bake 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cakes cool in the cake pans for about 10 minutes and finally invert the cakes onto a wire rack.

Directions for the Frosting

Begin heating the milk until hot, but not boiling in a small quart-sized saucepan. In a bowl, combine egg yolks, flour, and 1/3 cup confectioners sugar along with a pinch of salt. Pour milk into egg mixture and whisk continually.  Put mixture back into the sauce pan and bring it to a low boil while continually whisking. Reduce the heat and continue whisking until the mixture becomes a thick custard. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and let cool for 45 minutes to an hour.

Once cooled, add vanilla and remaining amount of confectioners sugar and mix well. Beat in softened butter until smooth and creamy. Finally, pour in melted chocolate and beat the frosting until nice and airy.

Directions for Assembling the Cake

Using a serrated knife, cut each cake into two horizontal layers. Use about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of frosting between each layer and then use the remaining frosting for the top and sides of the cake.


The cake turned out very light, moist, and fluffy, yet extremely rich. We enjoyed a piece of cake along with some of our homemade mint liqueur. This is most definitely not your every day cake and would be perfect for a special occasion or surprise.


Needless to say, this must be the best chocolate cake that I've made to date, and would highly recommend trying it! Do you have any special dessert recipes that you'd like to share? I would love to try them!
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