Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Lime Yogurt Cake

I pinned this recipe a long time ago, but hadn't forgotten about it.  We've had several wet and dreary days this week, so I decided a summer-tasting cake is just what I needed to share with friends in hopes of sunny days to come.  The cake was delicious, but the sun still didn't shine.  I think I just needed to eat more!  The lime-sugar drizzle and glaze keep it from being anything but dry.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. plain whole-milk yogurt
1 1/3 granulated sugar, divided
3 extra-large eggs
2 tsp. grated lime zest
1/2 tsp.  vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 cup powdered sugar
2 TBSP. freshly squeezed lime juice (I used coconut milk - yum!)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan (I used 3 mini pans). Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lime zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes(about 35 in the mini pans), or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lime juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.
When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.
For the glaze, combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Chewy Double Chocolate Cookie

I'd been thinking about chocolate chocolate chip cookies for a few days.  It was finally time to just make a batch and get on with it.  They were just as good as I thought they would be.  Yummy!

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (255 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
1 cup (215 grams) light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups (350 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 cups (62 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 ounces (340 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips (about two cups)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F ( degrees C). 

Add butter and sugars to a large bowl, turn a hand mixer to medium speed and beat until creamy, light and fluffy.

Add one egg, then turn mixer to medium and beat until well incorporated. Add the second egg as well as the vanilla extract and beat until they are well incorporated.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and the salt with a whisk. Whisk at least 6 to 10 times.

With the hand mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. The cookie batter will become very thick. You only need to mix until everything has combined.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoonfulls onto baking sheets.  Bake 9 to 12 minutes or until the cookies have puffed a little and the tops are dry. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Coconut Bircher

Here is another delicious breakfast treat that I used a couple times during our no-cereal month.  Thanks to Jessie for passing on the recipe.  I was out of sesame seeds when I made it this morning and missed them.  But we'll keep this and other bircher mueslis in our breakfast repertoire!

2.5 Cups rolled outs

2 c. coconut milk or cream
3/4 c flaked coconut
1/4 cup of creamed honey
2 tbsp. of sesame seeds
4 pinches of cinnamon

Combine all ingredients and let stand overnight in the fridge.
In the morning, sprinkle 1 tbsp. of flaked coconut and 1 tbsp. of sesame seeds over the top of the bircher and serve with yogurt and fresh fruit.

My middle gingersnap wanted her bowl in the photo!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cups

We all loved these flour-less cups!  A little chocolate chip goes a long way and they added the perfect amount of sweetness to these hearty oatmeal muffins.  It's good to note that they don't keep for more than a few days, but my family had no problem polishing them off by that time anyway!

adapted from this recipe

3 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 ¼ cups milk
2 bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350.  Spray 12 cups in a muffin tin with cooking spray.  You can easily make 16-18 of these things, but I only have one muffin tin and didn't want to do two batches of baking, so I filled the cups full and it worked fine.  They don't rise much.  

Combine the oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and stir until thoroughly mixed. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg whites, egg, mashed banana, milk and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until blended together. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Spoon the oatmeal mixture evenly between the prepared muffin cups. Bake uncovered for 18-22 minutes or until oatmeal is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger-Peanut Dressing

Maybe I'm late to the party, but have you ever used your cheese grater to grate cabbage?  Hello wonderfully-shredded-colorful-small-enough-my-kids-won't-complain-purple-cabbage!  For as long as the directions are in this recipe, it really just takes a minute to throw everything together once the quinoa is cooked and the veggies are chopped.  The salad was good mostly because the dressing was delicious!

3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1-2 cups shredded red cabbage, depending on how much crunch you like
1 red bell pepper, diced
½ red onion, diced
1 cup shredded carrots
½ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup diced green onions
½ cup cashew halves or peanuts (honey-roasted is good)
Optional: 1 cup edamame or chickpeas
Fresh lime, for a bit of tang

For the dressing:
¼ cup all natural peanut butter
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
3 tablespoon soy sauce, gluten-free if desired
1 tablespoon honey (use agave if vegan)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon olive oil
Water to thin, if necessary

To cook quinoa: Rinse quinoa with cold water in mesh strainer. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 ½ cups of water to a boil. Add in quinoa and bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed all of the water. Remove from heat and fluff quinoa with fork; place in large bowl and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes. You should have a little over 2 cups of quinoa.

To make dressing: Add peanut butter and honey or agave to a medium microwave safe bowl; heat in microwave for 20 seconds. Add in ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, and both sesame and olive oil and stir until mixture is smooth and creamy. If you want a thinner dressing, simply stir in a teaspoon or two of water or olive oil.

Add as much or as little dressing as you’d like to the quinoa. I always start out with a little bit of dressing and usually add more to suit my taste preferences. Alternatively you can save the dressing for later and add when you are ready to eat; however the flavors of the dressing usually soak into the salad so I love adding it to the quinoa first.

Next fold in red pepper, onion, cabbage, carrots, and cilantro into the quinoa. Garnish with cashews and green onions. Serve chilled or at room temperature with lime wedges if desired.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Breakfast Enchiladas

I was in a rut with breakfasts and reaching for the cereal boxes more often than I'd like to admit.  So I declared April a month of no store-bought cereal.  I thought the gingersnaps would put up a fight, but the truth is that it was hardest on me!  Thankfully, I didn't have a hard time finding plenty of ideas that were both simple to put together and gave my family a more filling start to their day.  This was one of the new recipes I tried out and will be incorporating into my breakfast rotation now.  I love something I can make the night before and pop into the oven while I'm still waking up first thing in the morning.  Plus, you can use pretty much whatever you want as a filling.  I started with diced bacon (cooked), diced mushrooms, spinach, bell pepper, and cheese.  

2 cups (151 grams) diced cooked ham
1 bell pepper, diced
8 green onions, finely sliced
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
10 eight-inch flour tortillas
6 eggs
2 cups half-and-half (I used 1/2 cup cream and the rest milk)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Lightly spray 13×9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray.

In large bowl, stir together ham, bell pepper, green onions and 1 cup of the cheese. Place 1/3 cup of the ham mixture down the center of each tortilla; roll up and place seam side down in baking dish.

In large bowl, whisk eggs, half-and-half, flour and the salt. Pour over the tortillas. Cover then bake or refrigerate overnight to be baked in the morning.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Uncover baking dish then scatter the remaining cup of cheese over enchiladas. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover, and then bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until set and cheese melted.
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