Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes

2 1/2 c all purpose flour
2 c sugar
1/2 c baking cocoa (powdered)
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 t baking soda
2 sticks of butter at room temp
5 eggs
1 c buttermilk
1 t vanilla
1 t red food coloring

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl. sift dry ingredients three time. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, making sure to beat well after eack egg. Add 1/4 of dry ingredients to creamed mixture then approximately 1/4 of buttermilk alternating until mixed well. Mix in vanilla and food coloring. Fill cupcake liners 1/2 full of red velvet batter.

Bake for aproximately 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Chipotle Caesar Dressing

2 garlic cloves
1-2 canned chipotle peppers
1/2 t. salt
1/3 c fresh lemmon juice
1/3 c egg substitue
1/4 c shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 c olive oil

Pulse first three ingredients in a food processor 3-4 times or until garlic is minced. Add lemon juice, egg sub and Parmesan cheese. With food processor running, pour oil through food chute in a slow, steady stream; process until smooth. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

yeilds 1 1/4 cups.

1 large jicama (cut ea slice into a star using a star-shaped cookie cutter)
2 heads of romain lettuce , torn
1 large red pepper thinly sliced
add dressing

Creamy Artichoke Spread

2 8 oz pkgs cream cheese
2 t garlic, chopped
1 1/2 t. salt
14 oz artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/3 c sliced black olives
7 green onions, chopped
6 T sundried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
1 t. fresh chives, choped

Combine cream cheese, garlic, and salt. in a medium mixing bowl; stir in artichoke hearts and olives. Add remaining ingredients mixing gently. Refrigerate overnight to blend flavors.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Strawberry Amaretto Pastries

You have no idea what you are missing out on if you have never had this. I went to a Pampered Chef party last week and this was the demonstration. Now, I am absolutely copying this but haven't made it myself. Not sure what/if I would modify anything, but no doubt, this is a GREAT dessert! And don't mind all the pampered chef plugs in there...This is the ultimate "copy and paste! Obviously, just use what you got. I am positive this will taste just as good, even if you don't have the fancy name-brand tools!! (which I do love by the way)

The Pampered Chef
Strawberry Amaretto Pastries Recipe

1/2 package (17.3 ounces) frozen puff pastry sheets (1 sheet), thawed
1/2 cup sliced almonds, divided
2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1 orange
1 container (8 ounces) sour cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups thawed, frozen whipped topping
12 large strawberries, sliced

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Unfold pastry dough onto Large Round Stone. Coarsely grate half of the almonds using Deluxe Cheese Grater. Combine grated almonds and half of the sugar; sprinkle evenly over surface of dough. Lightly press almond mixture into dough using Baker's Roller®.

2. Using Pizza Cutter, cut dough lengthwise into three strips; cut strips crosswise into four squares for a total of 12 squares. Using Mini-Serving Spatula, separate squares evenly over surface of baking stone. Bake 16-18 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Remove from baking stone; cool completely.

3. Place remaining almonds in Small Oval Baker. Microwave on HIGH 2-3 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring after each 30-second interval; coarsely chop using Food Chopper and set aside. Zest entire orange using Lemon Zester/Scorer. Combine zest and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar; set aside.

4. Whisk sour cream, powdered sugar and almond extract in Classic Batter Bowl using Stainless Whisk. Fold in whipped topping using Small Mix 'N Scraper®. Slice strawberries using Egg Slicer Plus®. Split open each pastry square; arrange half of the strawberries into bottom of each shell. Top each with about 2 heaping tablespoons of the filling and sprinkle with chopped almonds. Top with remaining sliced strawberries and sprinkle with sugared orange zest. Place tops of pastry shells over filling. Serve immediately.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cream Soups

My son has recently been diagnosed with an allergy to milk, and this revelation has really thrown a kink in my regular cooking plans... Sooooo- I have begun my quest to find recipes for some of my regular dairy filled foods, that I can substitute with non-dairy options. To start, here is a couple Cream Soups to substitute out with the canned stuff.

Cream Of Chicken Soup (Condensed)
Makes two can's equivalent

1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk (separated) (I used goats milk)
3/4 cup flour

1. In medium-sized saucepan, boil chicken broth, 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).
2. In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens.

Cream of Mushroom Soup (Condensed)
Makes 1 can's equivalent

1 c Mushrooms,Sliced
1/2 c Onion,Chopped
1/2 c Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1 T Parsley
1/4 t Garlic Powder
2/3 c Non Diary Creamer or milk (I will be using goats milk or soy milk)
2 T Cornstarch

1. Cook mushrooms, onion and spices in the chicken broth until soft.
2. Process in a blender or food processor until well pureed. Leave some out if you like mushroom chunks in your soup.
3. Shake together creamer and cornstarch until dissolved. Cook and stir until thick.
4. Stir in veggie mixture.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Chinese Chicken Cabbage Salad

Cabbage Salad
1 head of cabbage shredded
1 1/2 lb cooked diced chicken
1 bunch of green onions thinly sliced Toss together in large bowl. Cover with marinade over night or several hours.
Marinade: 1/2 c sugar
1/4 c + 2 tbls rice wine vinegar
1/2 c + 2 Tbls oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
soup mix of chicken top ramen noodles (save noodles to crush and add just before serving)
Just before serving add:
1/2 slivered, roasted almonds ( or I like cashews)
1/8 c sesame roasted seed
1/2 c craisens
1 can mandrin oranges
pkg of crushed ramen noodles.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Some freezer meal info

Notes on making freezer meals

* Dried herbs freeze better, impart a more pungent flavor, and will rehydrate when cooking
* If not freezing, fresh minced garlic is best
* If you are cooking food to serve 10-15 minutes later, or more, cover with foil and expect the internal temp to rise 5 degrees per 10 minutes as it rests. If necessary, adjust accordingly.
* You can refreeze meat if it is in a marinade or casserole
* Raw or cooked meat, poultry, or casseroles can be cooked or reheated from the frozen state. It will take approximately one and a half times longer than the usual cooking time for food that has been thawed.
* It is better to undercook, or cook just until tender, all types of rice to be used in freezable dinners. They will finish cooking when dinner is reheated.
* If you plan to freeze cooked pasta dishes, do not fully cook the pasta. It should be a bit chewier than al dente.
* Bottled lemon juice in a freezer recipe is just as good as fresh and easier.
* If you need more pans, line your baking pan with foil, build your casserole, and freeze it. Remove the frozen casserole from the pan, wrap it with another layer of foil, and place it back into the freezer without the pan. When ready to thaw and bake, unwrap the foil, and place the dinner back into the original baking dish.
* It’s a good idea to allow 2-3 days for thawing in the refrigerator and then be sure to cook and consume the meal within the next 3-4 days.
* Cook large batches of chicken at once. Boil a large pot of water and add boneless, skinless chicken breasts with a teaspoon each of garlic powder and lemon pepper. Return the water to a boil and cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Cook more than you need for your recipe and freeze the remainder in resealable freezer bags for later use.
* Cook large batches of rice at the same time. Cool in the refrigerator, uncovered, in a shallow pan and place in freezer bags to freeze. A good rule of thumb is to put 2 parts cold water to 1 part rice in a saucepan over high heat. Cover and bring to a boil. Leave covered and remove from heat. Let it sit, covered, about 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed. The rice will not be quite done- tender, but not completely soft.
* When converting a regular recipe to a freezer recipe, use extra liquid, stock, or milk
* Frozen dishes with larger chunks of veggies taste better reheated than ones with smaller ones.
* Cookies and cakes can be made ahead of time and frozen, baked or unbaked
* Muffin batters can be made and poured into paper-lined muffin tins. When they have frozen, remove the liners and place the frozen ‘muffins’ in a freezer bag. When time to cook, you can cook from frozen by reducing the original cooking temp by 25 and adding about 30 minutes to the original cooking time.
* It is best to double bag frozen meals. This helps prevent freezer burn (which only creates dryness) and will contain any leaks as the meal defrosts.
* Recommended freezing times are for quality, not safety (referring to the freezer meals)
* Always double-wrap baked items when freezing to help ensure freshness and taste.
* You can flash-freeze cookie dough by placing formed cookie balls on cookie sheets in the freezer for 10-20 minutes. Then remove and place in freezer bag. For slice-and-bake cookies, form dough into logs then wrap tightly in plastic wrap (seal ends well) and place in freezer bag.
* When making meals in freezer bags, it is a good idea to lay it flat when freezing so that it stores well. Some recommend placing in a baking dish stacked on each other while they freeze to ensure the shape stays flat and any potential leaks stay contained until frozen.
* Wrap leftover fresh cilantro in plastic wrap and put in a small freezer bag. Add directly to your recipe when needed.
* After squeezing juices from citrus fruits, store and freeze the leftover halved rinds in a freezer bag. You can grate the frozen rind directly when a recipe calls for fresh peel or zest.
Fresh ginger grates easily when frozen and keeps a long time. Wrap it in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag.

Foods that freeze best:
uncooked proteins
fresh carrots, zucchini, onions & celery- do not use fresh potatoes!!!
Starch-based dishes dry out more quickly than protein-based ones when frozen
Butter and yogurt-based spread will freeze but cream cheese will dry out unless blended with other ingredients
Substitute cream cheese or sour cream if a recipe calls for mayonnaise (or heavy cream) as a base for a sauce. They both freeze better.

Comparable Crock Pot cooking times
Conventional recipe in 350 oven -->crockpot on low-->crockpot on high
15-30mins--> 4-6 hrs--> 1 ½-2 hrs
35-45mins--> 6-10 hrs--> 3-4 hrs
50mins-3hrs--> 8-18 hrs--> 4-6 hrs

Keep in mind when making freezer meals that it is an easy and quick way to bless the lives of others. They are great for new moms, single moms who may not have a lot of time to prepare meals, bad days, the elderly, and those dealing with sickness or death. This is why it is particularly nice to make multiples of a recipe, especially if you have the room or a friend to share with.