Friday, April 30, 2010

Raspberry White Chocolate Blondies

I hardly ever use cake mixes these days but when you're in a pinch, these are super-fast, very tasty, and so easy to make...

1 package (18.25 ounces) white or yellow cake mix
2 large eggs
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (or more if desired...pretty if you stick extras on top of batter before baking)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9 by 13-inch pan with cooking spray.
Place the cake mix, eggs, salt, and melted butter in a large mixing bowl.
Blend with electric mixer on low speed until ingredients are moistened, 1 minute.
Add chips and blend on low another 30 seconds, just to incorporate.
Gently stir in raspberries, trying not to crush them in the mix.
Turn the dough into the pan, and spread it evenly with a rubber spatula.
Place the pan in the oven and bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until the bars are lightly browned but still soft.
Remove the pan from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes, then slice and serve.

Maple Apple Muffins

From RecipeGirl...


1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour {Kelly's note: I used 1 1/2 cups for altitude}
1 cup quick-cooking oats
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbs baking powder {Kelly's note: I used ~3tsp}
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup milk
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
¼ cup maple syrup
1 large egg, slightly beaten
2 cups chopped, peeled apples (I used Granny Smith)
12 pecan halves (optional)

1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbs maple syrup

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper liners {KM: I got 16 muffins out of it, so may need another pan}.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (through cinnamon).

3. In a small bowl, mix milk, butter, syrup and egg; stir into dry ingredients and mix just until moistened. Fold in apples.

4. Fill prepared muffin cups ¾-full (this is easiest to do when you use an ice cream scoop). Top each with a pecan half. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

5. For glaze, mix sugar and syrup; drizzle over cooled muffins.

Yield: 1 dozen {Kelly's note: I got 16 out of it...altitude?}

Monday, April 19, 2010

Chickpea Tagine With Chicken and Apricots

This is another weekend recipe from Mark Bittman's The Minimalist column.
This turned out wonderfully, and I'll definitely be making it again with some twists.
I followed the recipe pretty closely, though substituted chicken breasts for the legs, and also added a significant amount of heat with some cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes.
He recommends using the recipe as a basic template, but following it as is is a pretty good too!

2 tablespoons olive oil (I only used 1 Tbsp and some Pam)
4 skinless chicken thighs (I used skinless boneless breasts)
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic (used a little more...)
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1 cup chopped tomato (fresh or canned or boxed, with juice)
2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas, drained, with the liquid reserved
1 to 2 cups chicken stock, bean liquid or water, or more as needed
1/2 cup couscous
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, for garnish.

1. Put oil in a large, deep pot over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add chicken and brown well on both sides; remove from pan and set aside. Reduce heat to medium, add onion to the pan and cook until soft, about 5 minutes; add garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, dried apricots and tomato. Cook and stir just long enough to loosen any brown bits from bottom of pan.
2. Add chickpeas and 1 cup of stock or bean liquid to the pan and turn heat back to medium-high. When mixture reaches a gentle bubble, return chicken to the pan. Cover pot, turn heat to low and cook, checking occasionally to make sure the mixture is bubbling gently, for about 15 minutes or until tomatoes break down and flavors begin to meld. Stir in couscous, adding more stock if necessary so that the mixture is covered with about an inch of liquid. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Cover and cook until the chicken and bulgur are both done, about 10 to 15 minutes. Taste, adjust the seasonings and serve in bowls garnished with parsley.
Yield: 4 servings.

Blueberry pecan buttermilk waffles

This is an adaptation of Smitten Kitten's write-up and adaptation of Mark Bittman's take on fluffy buttermilk waffles.
Some of my mods: the addition of blueberries and pecans, and a swap of some white flour for some whole wheat pastry flour. Oh and I didn't separate the eggs and the waffles still turned out fine (pretty light and fluffy and crispy-ish on the outside), although next time I'll try it that way and see if makes a difference.

Rich Buttermilk Waffles
Adapted from How to Cook Everything, Mark Bittman
Serves 4 to 6

2 cups all-purpose flour (I used an even combo of AP flour and whole wheat pastry flour)**
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 3/4 cups buttermilk*
2 eggs, separated
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick butter, melted and cooled)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used a little more of vanilla bean paste)

Canola or other neutral oil for brushing on waffle pan (Pam is fine)

1 cup frozen blueberries, tossed in 1 Tbsp of flour and 1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup pecan chips/pieces (Next time I would toast first to bring out flavor)

Combine the dry ingredients. Mix together the buttermilk and the egg yolks. Stir in the butter and vanilla.
Brush/spray the waffle iron lightly with oil and preheat it. Stir the wet into the dry ingredients. Beat the egg whites with the whisk or electric mixer (spotlessly clean ones work best) until they hold soft peaks. Stir them gently into the batter.
Gently add in blueberries and pecans, stirring just until evenly distributed.
Spread a ladleful or so of batter onto the waffle iron and bake until the waffle is done, usually 3 to 5 minutes, depending on your iron. Serve immediately or keep warm for a few minutes in a low oven.

* The buttermilk can be substituted with 1 1/4 cups of milk at room temperature, mixed with two tablespoons white vinegar, left to clabber for 10 minutes.
** Altitude corrections: Add 2 Tbsp flour and reduce baking soda to 1 tsp

Can freeze leftovers too -- just thaw in microwave and then pop in oven at 350 for about 5min before serving.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Garlicky baked panko shrimp

This is another great recipe picked up from Gimme Some Oven, who got it from Real Simple.
I made a few changes like adding a little broccoli and onion to it, and I can imagine a number of other twists with this basic template too.

1 lb. raw shrimp, deveined and peeled (I used frozen cooked, thawed in refrigerator)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. white wine
salt and pepper
1 cup finely chopped broccoli florets
1 cup chopped onion
garlic salt and red pepper flakes, to taste
1/4 cup (4 Tbsp.) melted butter
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. fresh Italian-leaf parsley, chopped (I used dried)
half of a lemon (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
In a bowl, combine the shrimp, garlic, and white wine. Stir to combine, then pour into a baking dish. Spread out evenly, and then season with salt and pepper.
Over medium heat, saute onion and broccoli until both are tender. Stir garlic salt and red pepper flakes into pan, then transfer mixture into baking dish with shrimp.
In another bowl, use a fork to mix melted butter, Panko, and parsley until well combined. With your fingers, sprinkle the mixture evenly in the baking dish over the shrimp.
Transfer dish to oven and bake until the shrimp are pink and opaque, about 15-18 minutes.

Avalanche Bars

I got this recipe while blog-surfing, but it is originally based on a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory creation.
I tweaked it somewhat, but it remains super-easy (no bake!) and it is really tasty -- definitely not your standard rice krispie treat!

12oz bag white chocolate chips
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups Rice Krispies, or "Puffed Rice" if you're buying generic
1 2/3 cups mini marshmallows
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips + 1/4cup for garnish

Lightly grease a 9x9 pan (or 8x8 if you prefer thicker bars)
1. In microwave-safe bowl dump in white chips and heat on med power for 1 minute. Stir and continue in 30 second increments until chips are melted.
2. Combine the peanut butter with the melted chips
3. Add the krispies.
4. Let cool approx 15 - 20 minutes stirring every 5 minutes or so to help cool.
5. Add the marshmallows, peanut butter chips, and mini chocolate chips and stir to combine.
6. Dump mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly, pressing lightly with the back of your spoon, but do not compact too much, otherwise they will get hard.
7. Press the remaining chocolate chips into the top for garnish.
When the bars are completely cooled cut into squares and enjoy!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Irish Brown Bread

Ever since the soda bread baking of a few weeks ago, I've been craving fresh, out-of-the-oven hearty breads. Ok, I always crave that, but lately it's been moreso than usual.
This recipe is from the NY Times -- the bread is still baking in the oven now, but will try to update on how it turned out later!

3 cups extra coarse wholemeal flour
1 cup oat bran
3 tablespoons wheat germ
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg, beaten
2 cups milk (I used 1 cup buttermilk + 1 1/2 cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk)

1. Combine first seven ingredients and fluff together with hands to mix in the baking soda and baking powder completely.
2. Add egg and milk and stir to combine until it has the consistency and appearance of oatmeal.
3. Spray and flour a 9” round baking pan. Pour in batter and score the top with a cross. (“You’re wishing the bread well as it goes into the oven,” says Margaret.)
4. Bake at 380 degrees for one hour. Cool on a rack completely before cutting. Can be kept out for a day or two, but otherwise needs to be refrigerated or frozen.

* Note: I couldn't find coarse wholemeal flour easily (even in Boulder!) so I justed stoneground whole wheat flour + ~2 Tbsp millet +2 Tbsp extra oatbran for some extra crunch. I also had to add about 1/4-1/2 cup more milk, and even then my dough was far more dough-like than it was oatmeal-like.

Medley Muffins

This recipe comes from Gimme Some Oven, and having sampled a couple of muffins hot out of the oven already, I'm a big fan! They're definitely not for everyone...for example, my father would never try something that looked so brown (and wasn't chocolate) and had visible lumps of fruit and nuts. But if you're not afraid of a little health in your baked goods, these are really pretty good. They don't rise much, so next time I'd fill my muffin cups up the whole 2/3 of the way it recommends (weary of altitude effects, I only filled them halfway).

1.5 cups wheat flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup wheat germ or flax seed (optional)
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 can pumpkin
1/3 cup milk (can use soy milk)
1/3 cup applesauce
2 ripe bananas
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 egg
1 cup oatmeal (quick or old-fashioined)
1 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 cup almonds or walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 18-22 muffin tins with paper cups, or lightly grease.
In a bowl, stir together flour, salt, baking soda, and wheat germ (or flax). Set aside.
In mixing bowl, mix together the next eight ingredients (butter through egg) until combined. Then slowly add in the flour mixture until combined. Then stir in oatmeal, cranberries and almonds.
Pour the mixture into the baking cups, so that each is about 2/3 full. (I sprinkled coarse sugar and a few oats on top of each of mine for a prettier top.)
Bake for about 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes, and serve. These also freeze well.