Monday, October 31, 2011

SRC - Monte Cristo Sandwich

I am so excited to participate in my first Secret Recipe Club! For my first month I was assigned Double Dipped Life. Double Dipped is full of so many tempting dishes that I had a really hard time choosing what I would make, but ultimately I decided on a Monte Cristo sandwich. I has never had one before and I wasn't really sure what it was (but I love the movie, so I had to check it out). Now that I have had one I can only describe it as life changing. It is a sandwich made on French toast, I don't think it gets any better than that. So check out Double Dipped Life for her monte cristo sandwich and other wonderful eats, and enjoy an amazing sandwich.

Monte Cristo Sandwich:
2 slices of sourdough bread, sliced sandwich style
1 egg
2 tbsp of milk
4 oz of ham
1/4 cup (2 slices) of mozzarella or Swiss cheese
1 tbsp of Jam

Preheat a pan, and spray with non stick. Beat the egg and milk together. Dip the bread slices in the egg, like you are making French toast. Coat both slices on both sides with egg mixture. Cook the bread on one side in the pan, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip bread and top one slice with ham and one slice with the cheese. Cook until the side is browned and the cheese has melted, about 3-4 minutes. Spread/pour jam over the ham and top with the cheese piece of bread. Cut sandwich in half and serve. Enjoy! (adapted from Double Dipped Life)

Happy Eating.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chicken Curry

I am leaving for a trip to San Antonio today, so I won't be posting the rest of the week. But before I go... Enjoy some delicious lightened up chicken curry. I had been planning on making fried rice, but was just so in the mood for rice that was soaked in sauce (yum) and I happened to have a can of light coconut milk on hand, so this delicious spiced (but not spicy) curry was born. With enough delicious sauce to drown a huge bowl of rice. Have a great week, see you all Monday!

Chicken Curry:
1 tbsp of coconut oil
2 chicken breasts
2 tbsp of flour
2 onions
1 parsnip
1 bell pepper
2 tbsp of curry powder
1/2 tsp of ginger
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp mustard
1 tsp of Garam masala
1 tsp of chili powder
1 Bay leaf
2 tbsp of brown sugar
1/2 cup of chicken stock
1/2 cup of light coconut milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Cut the chicken breast into 1 inch pieces and season with salt and pepper. Toss the breasts with the flour to coat. Add to the hot pan and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes then flip. Chop the onions, parsnips, and pepper and add to the pan. Cook until onions soften slightly, about 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add spices, sugar, stock and coconut milk, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until chicken is cooked through and the veggies are soft, about 20 minutes. Serve over rice.

Happy Eating.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Vegan Peanut Butter Dip

I love smoothies, and one of my favorite smoothie ingredients is silken tofu, it makes them impossibly creamy. But, I feel like whenever I buy the tofu, I end up getting smoothie-d out and throwing half of it away. When I bought tofu this week I was determined to find other ways to use it, and not to let any of it go to waste. While I was perusing ideas I decided that I would blend some peanut butter in and see what happens, I wasn't sure exactly what I would end up with when I started this, but it is delicious. I started throwing things in the food processor, and ended up with an easy, creamy dip, that is absolutely perfect for dunking fruit into. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Dip:
4 oz silken tofu
3 tbsp of creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup of light coconut milk
1 tbsp of maple syrup
1/3 cup of mashed acorn squash (or canned pumpkin)
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp of ginger

In a food processor puree the tofu until smooth. Add the coconut milk, peanut butter, squash and spices and process until well combined. Makes about 1 cup of dip, serve with apple slices or other fruit for dipping.

Happy Eating.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Ultimate Chex Mix

Homemade Chex mix is one of those things that everyone makes a little differently, it's perfecly customizable and always delicious. I like to maximize the butter to cereal ratio, to ensure that every piece is coated with goodness. The boyfriend is very particular about what is in the mix (no nuts, no wheat Chex) and so this amazingly delicious hybrid was born. My ultimate Chex mix, it is crazy addictive, especially when it is hot from the oven (or not quite finished baking), which is my favorite way to eat it. Enjoy your delicious fall snacking! And check out what I did with the leftover Chex and pretzels.

Ultimate Chex Mix:
4 cups corn chex
3 cups rice chex
2 cups of pretzels
1 bag of garlic bagel chips
4 tbsp of unsalted butter
4 tbsp of salted butter
3 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp of hot sauce
1 tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp minced onion
1/2 tsp of salt

Pre-heat the oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Add chex and pretzels to the baking sheet. Break bagel chips in pieces and add to the chex. Melt butters in the microwave in a small bowl, mix in Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, garlic powder, onion, and salt. Pour the butter over the Chex mix slowly, stirring the mix to coat evenly. Bake for an hour, stirring mix every 15 minutes.

Happy Eating.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Daring Cooks: Moo Shu

Blog-checking lines: The October Daring Cooks' Challenge was hosted by Shelley of C Mom Cook and her sister Ruth of The Crafts of Mommyhood. They challenged us to bring a taste of the East into our home kitchens by making our own Moo Shu, including thin pancakes, stir fry and sauce.

This, I think was my favorite Daring Cooks challenge so far. It was absolutely delicious! Not all of the ingredients made it into my Moo Shu, because I got a little frazzled, but it was so good that next time I make it (and trust me, there will be a next time) I won't even bother to add them. The hoisin sauce was AMAZING, easy to make, and made from pantry staples plus it provided plenty of leftovers that were consumed throughout the week. The Moo Shu sent me on a cabbage eating binge like you would not believe. Making the pancakes was a lot of work, and they didn't really taste like anything, they were a good conduit for the meat and sauce, but next time I would happily eat this plain, over rice, or on a store bought tortilla, which would also make this more of an everyday meal (less work). Can you guess when I actually made this, I have been sitting on this post, dying to share it for a bit of time. (Hint: look for lots of cabbage and something else with hoisin sauce). Anyway, enjoy the deliciousness!

Moo Shu Pork:
1 pork loin, about 3/4 lb
1/2 head of green cabbage
1 bunch of scallions
1 package of gourmet mushrooms
1 tbsp of rice vinegar
1 tbsp of soy sauce
1 tbsp of canola oil
salt, pepper, chili powder

Heat the oil in a large wok or skillet over high heat. Finely chop the pork and add to the oil, cook until browned slightly, about 1 minute. Chop the cabbage, scallions and mushrooms and add to the pan. Add the vinegar and soy sauce and cook until cabbage softens, about 5-7 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and chili powder to taste.

Hoisin Sauce:
1/4 cup of low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp (or more) of Sriracha
1 1/2 tbsp of molasses
2 tbsp of almond butter
2 tsp of white vinegar
2 tsp of sesame oil
1/4 tsp of pepper
1/4 tsp of garlic powder

Add all ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth and combined.

1 cup of all purpose flour
1 cup of wheat flour
1/2 tsp of canola oil
3/4 cup of boiling water

Put the flour in a food processor with the dough blade and pulse a few times. While the machine is running pour in water and oil. Remove the dough from the processor, roll into a ball and cover with a damp towel, let stand 30 minutes. Return to the food processor and run until the dough is smooth, about 2 minutes. Dive in half and roll into a long log, cut each log into 7 pieces, keep dough covered when you aren't using it. Roll each piece into a ball, and then flatten into a disk. Roll the disks out into a 6-8 inch circle. Heat a pan on high heat, then put on medium-low, cook pancakes until light brown spots appear, do not flip. Cover with a damp cloth until ready to serve.

Happy Eating.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chicken Tetrazzini

I love a good casserole, they are so hearty and filling and can warm you from the inside. I was looking for something creamy and delicious, that wasn't a million calories, when I stumbled across this casserole from Cooking Light, which inspired me to make my own version. I added a substantial amount of broccoli to really stretch the dish and so that I could eat a gigantic portion guilt free. A piece the size in the picture below (1/6th of the casserole) is under 350 calories, a very reasonable dinner portion. So enjoy some deliciousness absolutely guilt free (and eat the leftovers for lunch).

Chicken Tetrazzini:
2 heads of broccoli, chopped and steamed
1/2 lb of angel hair pasta, broken in half and cooked
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I boiled mine)
1/2 tbsp of butter
1 small onion
1 package of mixed gourmet mushrooms
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of pepper
1 tsp of garlic powder
1/4 cup of sherry wine
1/3 cup of flour
2 1/2 cups of chicken broth
1/2 cup of reduced fat, shredded, mozzarella cheese
1/4 cups of plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup of Parmesan

First, prep work, cook the chicken, broccoli and pasta (this could be done in advance too). Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 by 13 inch baking dish with non-stick and add pasta, broccoli, and chicken and mix together. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and melt butter, chop onion and add to butter. Chop mushrooms and add as well, add salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook until onions soften, about 3 minutes, add sherry and cook until absorbed, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in flour, mixing constantly, cook for 3 minutes, stirring to ensure flour doesn't burn, this will be very thick. Stir in stock and bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, stir until smooth. Add in mozzarella and stir until melted. Pour mixture over the noodle mixture and stir to combine. Top with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.

Happy Eating.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Chocolate Caramel Chex Clusters

The boyfriend has started asking for Chex mix about 2 weeks ago, something about Fall and the impending holiday season. Chex mix, especially homemade, is dangerous to have in the house (in fact, I'm pretty sure we ate half a stick of butter yesterday, in Chex mix alone). I even just like the way the Chex cereal tastes plain. I did not want to have a bunch of half full Chex boxes around, so I decided in addition to the deliciously addictive classic Chex mix that I would make a salty-sweet (and it turns out even more dangerous) concoction. This is like a cross between caramel corn and muddy buddies, and it is so amazing I had to have the boyfriend pry it from hands and hide it. If you like salty sweet combinations, you have to try this, now. It only takes about 10 minutes to make and there is no baking. Enjoy!

Chocolate Caramel Chex Clusters:
4 cups of chex (rice or corn)
5 cups of popped popcorn
1 cup of pretzels
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup of dark brown sugar
1/2 cup of light corn syrup
2 1/2 tbsps of butter
1 tsp of salt

Spray a 9 by 13 inch baking dish with non stick spray. Mix together the Chex, popcorn, pretzels, and chocolate chips in the dish. In a small pan, heat sugar, corn syrup and butter over high medium heat until melted, raise heat and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until the a dark brown, but still liquid caramel forms, about 4 minutes. Add in salt, then pour caramel mixture over the Chex mixture and stir until the caramel is coating all the mixture and the chocolate has melted. Press the mixture down into the pan, and then allow to cool for 30 minutes. Break up into chunks. Store in a air tight container.

Happy Eating.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Beef and Potato Hash

The use everything up experiment continues, and I have to say I feel proud. I have not only managed to make some delicious meals, our fridge is near empty and devoid of perishables, and not because we have thrown out what went bad, but because we have used everything! We really need to go shopping now, but I've learned a valuable lesson in using what you have, and hopefully the dinners from this week can help me to buy less and use everything up to decrease what I waste.

Beef Potato Hash:
2 large russet potatoes
2 yellow onions
2 bell pepper
1 small hot pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp of worchestershire sauce
1 can/bottle of beer
8 oz of ground beef
Canola oil
Salt, pepper, Tabasco

Heat the a thin layer of oil over high heat in a large skillet. Chop potatoes into small cubes and add to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally until potatoes begin to brown, about 4-5 minutes, then lower heat to medium. Chop onions into small squares and add to the pan , cook until onions soften slightly, about 3 minutes. Chop the peppers (hot and bell) and add to the pan, stir to combine, raise heat to high and cook 1 minute, then stir in the chili powder, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce and half the beer. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to allow beer to simmer, cook until the liquid has absorbed. Add ground beef and stir in. Add remaining beer and cook until absorbed and potatoes are tender. Serve with sunny side up eggs. Potatoes will need to cook about 30 minutes total, depending on how small you chopped them.

Happy Eating.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Shrimp and Pasta Stir Fry

This week is an interesting experiment, it's called using up all the things in the fridge, freezer and pantry that I forgot I had. We didn't go grocery shopping this weekend because we were suppose to be getting a lovely vegetable box delivered from Pure Organics (I got a groupon). Then the day before the box was suppose to come, they are suddenly out of business (don't worry, I got my money back). I am extremely disappointed that I won't get my lovely fresh veggies, and too lazy to go grocery shopping during the week, so I will just have to see how much I can put the furthest and most forgotten corners of my pantry to work. Fortunately, I still have some leftover veggies. The tomatoes in this are actually from my garden (or the tomato jungle as I like to think of it). So here is a delicious and fridge/pantry cleaning hodge podge of pasta, veggies, and shrimp in an Asian-y sauce.

Shrimp and Pasta Stir Fry:
1/2 lb of spaghetti
1 lb of shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tbsp of flour
Canola oil
2 onions
1/4 of head of cabbage
1 can of fancy bamboo shoots, drained
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp of hoisin sauce
3 tbsp of soy sauce
1 tbsp of rice vinegar
2 tsp of sesame oil
Salt, pepper, and chili powder
Cook spaghetti to package directions for al dente. In the mean time, heat a thin layer of canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Slice the onion and cabbage and add to the pan, when it's hot. Cook until cabbage wilts slightly and onions start to brown, about 3 minutes, then reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until cabbage is soft, about 5-7 minutes more. Season shrimp with salt, pepper, and chili powder and toss with the flour. Remove cabbage from the pan and set aside. Raise heat to high and add a little more oil to the pan, cook shrimp until browned and pink, stirring once or twice, about 2-3 minutes. Add cabbage back to the pan, and add bamboo shoots, tomatoes, garlic, and cooked pasta. In a small bowl, whisk together the hoisin, soy sauce, and vinegar and add to the pasta and veggies and stir. Add sriracha to taste and stir in. Sprinkle with sesame oil before serving.

Happy Eating.