Monday, May 6, 2013

Blueberry-Peach Dump Cake

Did you think I died?  There's been a lot going on in life and it's only going to get more crazy from here but I'm back on the saddle... I think.  :)

I needed a quick dessert the other night and based on the ingredients I had I decided to go with a dump cake.  If I'm being honest it was less about the ingredients I had and more about being lazy and doing NO research on a dessert.  Dump cake has been around forever and I don't know where the recipe actually originated.  The Pioneer Woman did a post about dump cake so i'll link it back to her.

The best thing about Dump Cake is that it's super easy and you can use whatever you want.  I used blueberry and peaches because that's what I had.  I think blueberry with lemon cake mix would be delicious too.  Go crazy.

Blueberry-Peach Dump Cake:
(Pioneer Woman and the internets)

1 box yellow cake mix
1 can sliced peaches in juice
1 pint blueberries
1 stick butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a baking dish mix the fruit together with the vanilla.  Top with the cake mix and dot with the stick of butter.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the fruit juices have started to bubble up around the crust.

Seriously.... that's the entire recipe.  It's delicious.  Next time you have to make something for desert in an hour pull this out of the recipe box.  It's easy and no one will know that it's cake mix from a box.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Asian Glazed Chicken

I tried a new recipe the other night and it was good.  (I love it when that happens) I had to go out and buy a bottle of hoisin sauce but other than that the ingredients were all things at had at home.

Asian Glazed Chicken:
(adapted from Cooking Light)

1 teaspoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lower-sodium soy sauce
8 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)

Preheat your grill or skillet to medium-high heat.

Combine the ginger, hoisin sauce, olive oil, and soy sauce in a medium bowl and stir well to combine. Add the chicken, toss to coat, and let the chicken marinate for at least 5 minutes.

Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side or until done.  Remove from the grill and serve.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Southwestern Egg Rolls

I made these for our New Year's Eve celebration.  I found them on Pinterest and have been wanting to try them for a while.  These were easy to make and really delicious.  The flavors were really good and I was able to throw them in a freezer bag for good eats later on.

My plan for these is to incorporate them into Mexican nights and freeze batches for easy weekend meals.  I also think these would be great to make if you're bringing a meal to someone.

I served these with guacamole and salsa for dipping. 

Southwestern Egg Rolls:
(Emily Bites)

2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
4 scallions, chopped
1 (4 oz) can of green chiles, drained
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
24 egg roll wrappers (1 package)

Preheat the oven to 425. Lightly mist two baking sheets with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the egg roll wrappers and stir to thoroughly combine.

Pour some water into a small dish and set aside. On a flat surface, place an egg roll wrapper, corner facing toward you (like a diamond) and put ¼ cup of the mixture from the bowl on the center of the wrapper. Spread the mixture in a horizontal line from the left corner to the right corner of the wonton wrapper, leaving ½ inch or so of space on each side. Fold the bottom corner closest to you up over the ingredients and give it a 90 degree roll. Fold the side corners in and tuck them as you give the filled section another 90 degree roll. Dip your finger in the dish or reserved water and lightly wet the edges of the remaining top corner of the wrapper. Finish rolling the filled egg roll over the wet corner so that it adheres. Place wrapped egg roll onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

When all of the egg rolls are wrapped and on the baking sheets, lightly mist the tops with cooking spray. Bake for 14-15 minutes, flipping once halfway through, until the wrappers are golden brown. Serve with salsa for dipping.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Turkey Veggie Pasta

I've been trying to eat more brussels sprouts.  I "didn't like them" as a child but to be honest, I'm not really sure that I ever had one. I found this recipe that called for brussels sprouts in pasta and my mind was blown.  I don't think I've ever seen something like that before so I decided to give it a shot!

This pasta is delicious and full of veggies.  I really believe that kids would love it.  The turkey and sausage give it a meaty texture without all of the fat that comes with beef a lot of times.

Turkey Veggie Pasta:
(adapted from Skinnytaste)

1 sweet or hot pork sausage link, casing removed, crumbled
3/4 lb 93% lean ground turkey
4 tsp olive oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced
10 oz brussels sprouts, weight after outer leaves and stems removed
1 small onion, diced small
1 carrot, peeled and diced small
2 celery stalks, diced small
28 oz crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
pinch crushed red pepper
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 lb high fiber, low carb or whole wheat pasta (brown rice pasta for gluten free)

In a large skillet heated over medium-high heat add the sausage and turkey. When the meat is completely cooked through and crumbled into small pieces set aside in a bowl.

Cut the brussels sprouts into thin shreds.  A food processor is awesome at this, but a sharp knife works just as well.

To the skillet, add 2 teaspoons of oil and turn the heat down to medium heat. When hot, add the shredded brussels sprouts, garlic, salt and pepper.  Sauté until everything is tender and starting to crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes.  Set aside in another bowl.

In the same skillet add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil and turn the heat back up to medium-high. Add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook until the vegetables turn golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Make sure you stir everything occasionally.

After the veggies are night and brown add the can of crushed tomatoes, sausage and turkey, bay leaf, crushed red pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer about 20 - 30 minutes, or until the sauce is nice and thick.

While sauce is simmering prepare the pasta according to the package directions. 

Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet.  Toss everything together with the cooked brussel sprouts and enjoy!

Monday, January 14, 2013

No Knead White/Wheat Bread

We don't really buy bread often.  There's only 2 of us at home and we just can't eat the loaf of bread quickly enough (and I HATE throwing food away).

 I got a craving the other day for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich the other day... i'm also lazy and didn't feel like leaving the house to go to the grocery store.  So I made bread from scratch!  (that's a normal thing to do... right?!)

This was totally worth it!  This recipe isn't quick to make but the flavor is great and the crust on the bread is fantastic.

No Knead White/Wheat Bread:
(adapted King Arthur Flour)

3 cups lukewarm water
4 cups white flour
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups wheat flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 packet instant yeast


*The flour/liquid ratio is important in this recipe. If you measure flour by sprinkling it into your measuring cup, then gently sweeping off the excess, use 7 1/2 cups. If you measure flour by dipping your cup into the canister, then sweeping off the excess, use 6 1/2 cups. Most accurate of all, and guaranteed to give you the best results, if you measure flour by weight, use 32 ounces.

Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Mix everything together to make a rough, sticky dough. I used a stand mixer.

Cover the bowl and let the dough rise at room temperature for 2 hours. Then refrigerate it for at least 2 hours, or for up to about 7 days if you prefer a tangier bread.

When you're ready to make bread, sprinkle the top of the dough with flour; this will make it easier to grab a hunk. Grease your hands, and pull off about 1/4 to 1/3 of the dough.  It'll be about the size of a softball, or a large grapefruit.

Plop the sticky dough onto a floured work surface and round it into a ball. Place the dough onto a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Sift a light coating of flour over the top to help keep the dough moist as it rests before baking.

Let the dough rise for about 45 to 60 minutes. It won't appear to rise upwards that much; rather, it'll seem to settle and expand. Preheat the oven to 450°F while the dough rests. Place a shallow metal or cast iron pan (not glass or Pyrex) on the lowest oven rack, and have 1 cup of hot water ready to go.

When you're ready to bake, take a sharp knife and slash the bread 2 or 3 times, making a cut about 1/2" deep. The bread may deflate a bit.

Place the bread in the oven, and carefully pour the 1 cup hot water into the shallow pan on the rack beneath.

Bake the bread for 25 to 35 minutes, until it's a deep, golden brown.  Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a rack. Store leftover bread in a plastic bag at room temperature.

Yield: 3 or 4 loaves, depending on size.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Cookie Butter Cookies

Gainesville just got a Trader Joe's!!!  It's awesome.  Mr. T and I went the first Saturday that they were open.  It was so crowded that we didn't get a chance to really look around but one of the things I did manager to grab was a jar of Cookie Butter.

Cookie Butter is the consistency of peanut butter but is made up of gingersnaps (and other stuff).  Alone it's pretty amazing but made into a cookie it transforms into... COOKIECEPTION!!

I want to give this cookie another chance.  I think my downfall was using a super basic cookie recipe.  Mr. T liked them fine but I felt that the lack of flour in them made the sugar granules more obvious.

Cookie Butter Cookies:

1 cup cookie butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350.  In a mixing bowl mix the sugar, egg, and vanilla together.  Add the cookie butter and mix until the mixture just comes together.

Spoon onto a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.

** I used a fork to make cross hatches in my cookies (just like you would regular peanut butter cookies).  You don't have to though.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Broiled Chicken Wings

I love chicken wings.  Mr. T is responsible for that.  When we were younger we frequented many All You Can Eat wing nights, which are a staple of any college town.

I've been trying to learn how to make decent wings at home for a while.  I'm not going to fry wings at home so I was on a quest to find another option.  I saw this recipe on Skinnytaste's website and decided to give it a try for our New Year's Eve celebration this year.  

They turned out really well!!  These aren't fried wings and won't taste like fried wings but they do get crisp in the oven and the flavor is amazing.  I will be making these again.

Broiled Chicken Wings:

3 pounds chicken wings
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon Frank’s hot sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoon oregano
4 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
salt and fresh pepper

In a large bowl combine the chicken, 2 tablespoons hot sauce, vinegar, oregano, paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, salt and pepper. Mix well and let marinate for 30 minutes.

Place wings on a broiler rack and broil on low, about 8 inches from the flame for about 10-12 minutes on each side. Be careful not to burn the wings and continue to turn the wings in order to get all of the sides crisp.  Make sure the chicken cooked before removing the wings from the oven.

While chicken cooks, heat the remaining hot sauce until warm. Toss the hot sauce with the chicken and arrange on a platter. Serve with celery and carrot strips and blue cheese or ranch dressing for dipping.