Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Chipotle Kale Chips

I got some beautiful curly kale at the farmers' market this weekend and decided to make some kale chips.

I really love kale chips.  Part of the reason is that they are super simple to make. It takes longer to wash the greens then it does to prepare the chips.  One of the other reasons I love these chips is because of all of the different types of flavors you can choose to pair with them.

I decided to use chipotle pepper with this batch of kale chips and was pretty happy with how they turned out.

Chipotle Kale Chips:

1 bunch of kale, cleaned and removed from the stalk
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Rip the kale leaves into pieces and put them in a bowl with the olive oil, chipotle powder, and salt.  Toss the kale to make sure that all of the leaves are covered with the oil and the spices.

Place the kale leaves on a baking sheet, making sure they don't overlap and bake for 20 minutes of until the leaves are crispy.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Jalapeno Pickles

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a fan of pickles.  They are crazy gross to me and are the quickest way to get rid of my appetite.

However... my husband loves pickled jalapenos on just about everything.  I was on a canning spree and decided to try my hand at making some jalapeno pickles.  I really enjoyed making this batch of pickles.  They were easy to make and will last about a year in the pantry which gives me plenty of time to use them up on pizzas, chili's, and plenty of other things.

Jalapeno Pickles:
(adapted slightly from Food in Jars)

1 pound of jalapeno peppers, cut into slices
2 cups white vinegar
2 cups filtered water
2 tablespoons pickling salt
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

Pack clean, hot jars with peppers and the red pepper flakes. Pour hot brine over top. Bubble your jars thoroughly by tapping them firmly on the countertop and using a wooden chopstick to release any stubborn bubbles. Wipe rims, apply lids and bands.

Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Store in cool, dark place for up to a year.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Dairy Free Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts

You made it through Thanksgiving!!  Congrats!  Before you jump into the mountain of leftovers in the refrigerator you'll want something for breakfast. 

My suggestion... PUMPKIN DOUGHNUTS! These are easy to make, delicious, and believe it or not much lighter than having a piece of pie for breakfast (not that you would).

I made two trays of and froze the rest of the batter for future doughnuts.

Dairy Free Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts:
(adapted from King Arthur Flour)

1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Coating Options:
3 tablespoons cinnamon-sugar


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two standard doughnut pans. If you don't have doughnut pans, use a standard muffin tin; they just won't be doughnuts.

Beat together the oil, eggs, sugar, pumpkin, spices, salt, and baking powder until smooth.

Add the flour, stirring just until smooth.

Fill the the doughnut pans about 3/4 full.  I use about 2 1/2 scoops per doughnut.

Bake the doughnuts for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean.

Remove the doughnuts from the oven, and after about 5 minutes, loosen their edges, and transfer them to a rack to cool.

I made my doughnuts two different ways.  One batch I tossed in cinnamon sugar. 

The other batch I used coconut.  Believe it or not, it was delicious.  All I did for the coconut doughnuts was put some coconut flakes on top of the doughnut batter once it was in the pan.  I stirred it around a little bit to make sure the coconut flakes would stick to the doughnuts.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pumpkin Walnut Crisp

The pumpkin bug has bit me again!  I found this recipe on Pinterest and since it was super easy to make I decided to give it a shot.

I made this for Mr. T's work potluck last week and forgot to take an after picture.  I wanted to make sure I got the recipe out there before Thanksgiving was upon us.  I'll be making this again on Thanksgiving and i'll try to get a better picture then.

Pumpkin Walnut Crisp:
(Adapted from Rachel Schultz)

15 ounce can pumpkin
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 package yellow cake mix
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice.

Pour the batter into a 9×13 baking dish and sprinkle the cake mix over the pumpkin mixture.  Arrange walnuts on top of the cake mix.

Pour the butter evenly over pecans, making sure all of the cake mix is moistened.

Bake for 70-80 minutes, or until golden brown and allow to fully cool before serving.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Canned Apple Pie Filling

Apples have been on sale recently and I have been needing a mental break from life so I decided to dive into a weekend of canning.  I decided to go with some apple pie filling mainly because I've never canned pie filling before.

I always forget how much work it takes to make apple pie.  The apples turn brown so quickly and I feel like it always takes me forever to core the apples and get them sliced up.  This is the best part of canning.  I now have 7 pints of apple pie filling that I can use without having to do much work!!!

Canned Apple Pie Filling:
(adapted from Ball Canning)

12 cups sliced peeled cored apples, treated to prevent browning and drained (about 12 medium)
2-3/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup ClearJel
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice
2 1/2 cups unsweetened apple juice
1 1/4 cups cold water
1/2 cup lemon juice
7 pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands


Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.

Blanch apple slices, working with 6 cups at a time, in a large pot of boiling water for 1 minute.

Remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm in a covered bowl.

Combine sugar, ClearJel, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and apple pie spice in a large stainless steel saucepan. Stir in apple juice and cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, and cook until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Add lemon juice, return to a boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Drain apple slices and immediately fold into hot mixture. Before processing, heat, stirring, until apples are heated through.

Ladle hot pie filling into hot jars leaving 1 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.

Process jars in a boiling water canner for 25 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool.

Check the lids for a proper seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

** When using this in a pie you might find that one jar isn't quite enough to fill your crust.  If this is the case just cut up a couple more apples and add to the whole mix.  When the pie bakes everything will come together perfectly.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Asian Peanut Noodles

I've been bored with my dinner options recently.  I've also been on a bit of an Asian food kick so I've been trying to find some new dishes that incorporate my needs.

I found this recipe from Cooking Light magazine.  I love this recipe.  I always have these ingredients on hand and I was able to whip it up really quickly.  I think that this could serve as a main meal or as a side dish, depending on what you're looking for.

The recipe doesn't call for the vegetable to be cooked at all which is fine, but since I did serve this warm I think next time I'll try to blanch the veggies a little bit.

Asian Peanut Noodles:
(adapted from Cooking Light)

6 ounces whole-wheat linguine or spaghetti
1 teaspoon sirarcha
1 tablespoon reduced-fat creamy peanut butter
3 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 cup matchstick-cut carrots
1/2 cup matchstick-cut green onions

Cook the noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain them well.

Combine the sirarcha, peanut butter, soy sauce, and lime juice in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk to combine well. Add the noodles, carrots, and green onions; toss and serve immediately.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Oatmeal Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Fall = Pumpkin! I was in the fall spirit (even though it's still 90 degrees outside) and decided to make some awesome pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  It has to be the most homey cookie ever.

I like to make a big batch of these cookies and freeze the dough.  You never know when you're going to need a pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookie... and you need to be prepared.

Oatmeal Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies:

1/2  cup (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4  cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2  cup granulated sugar
2  eggs
1  teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2  cups all-purpose flour
1  teaspoon baking soda
1  teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2  teaspoon sal
3  cups quick or old fashioned oats
1  cup chocolate chips
1 can pumpkin, not pie filling


Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt; mix well.

Add oats, chocolate chips, and pumpkin.  Mix well.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Asian Tuna Nuggets

I went crazy at the grocery store this week and got some tuna nuggets instead of the usual tilapia.  (I know... pick yourself up off the floor)

I've been experimenting with Asian flavors recently and decided to try them out with this tuna.  It was a delicious and it was nice to have something a little different. This recipe uses some ingredients that I've bought for other recipes and haven't used all the much.

Mr. T really enjoyed this so I'm hoping that you will too!

Asian Tuna Nuggets:

1 pound tuna nuggets
1 scallion, sliced thinly
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Sirarcha
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon honey
Juice of half a lime
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
sesame seeds for garnish

In a small bowl mix together the scallion, garlic clove, rice vinegar, Sirarcha, sesame oil, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, lime juice, and ground ginger.  Add the tuna and let marinate for at least half an hour.

Heat a skillet on medium-high heat.  Spray the pan with some nonstick spray and cook the tuna for about a minute on each side.