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Have you ever been ready to make tacos only to find that the packet of taco seasoning you thought you had in the pantry wasn’t there? This happened to me recently, and I decided it was time to start making my own. I use it far too often and I like that the homemade version isn’t packed full of sodium. This makes a good size batch that I now keep on hand for anytime I need it.
4 tbsp. chili powder
3 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. paprika
3 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and mix well to blend. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
Source: Annie’s Eats
Wow, I expected these to be good, but I certainly didn’t expect them to be this good. I decided to use all semi-sweet chocolate chips in place of the milk since I didn’t have any on hand. I think they turned out wonderfully, but I’m sure the milk chocolate would taste just as great. My husband (who supposedly doesn’t like sweets — I don’t believe it) was trying to hide these. We brought them over to my Mom’s to share and everyone there really enjoyed these as well. These are sure to please any crowd.
Oreo Fudge Bars
1 18 oz. package of Oreo cookies
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (I just used another 1/2 cup of regular sized semi-sweet chocolate chips)
1 cup white chocolate chips, melted (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Line a 9×13 pan with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray. Set aside 6 Oreo cookies for the topping.
In a small food processor grind the rest of the cookies. If you don’t have a food processor, just pound with a rolling pin until the cookies are fine crumbs. Add the salt to the crumbs and stir to combine. Melt butter and gently stir together with the cookie crumb mixutre. Press firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Coarsely chop the remaining cookies into chunks and set aside.
Over a double boiler or in the microwave, melt 3/4 cup semi-sweet and 1/2 cup milk chocoalte chips (or semi-sweet) together with the condensed milk and vanilla. Stir frequently until smooth. Spread evenly over the prepared cookie crust.
Sprinkle the mini chocolate chips (or semi-sweet) and the Oreo cookies chunks over the top of the filling. Press down gently into the chocolate topping. Bake for 20-22 minutes oven. Allow to cool on counter for 1 hour. Melt white chocolate in over a double boiler and drizzle over the bars. Chill in fridge until completely cold and set before cutting into bars. If the bars are not thoughroughly chilled they will make a mess.
Source: The Crepes of Wrath
There’s a common problem in our house when it comes to risotto — I always make too much. I tend to overestimate several things in life and risotto is no different. Finally, I decided to try risotto cakes and am very pleased with the results. Now, I will be purposely making extra risotto so I can make more risotto cakes!
Risotto Cakes with Lemon Aioli
For the Cakes:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For the Aioli:
1 Cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon minced thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
For the risotto cakes, place flour, panko, and beaten egg in three separate shallow dishes. Form the risotto into patties about 4 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. Dip each patty into flour, then egg, and panko. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until risotto is set. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and fry for 3-5 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towel.
For the aioli: In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, parsley, thyme, and honey in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
I have mentioned several times before that I love having homemade breakfasts around the house especially on mornings when I have to run out the door early. They also break up my normal routine of cereal. I have a stash of cranberries hanging out in my fridge waiting for the perfect opportunity to be used. I bought several bags this fall while they were in season and am enjoying them in a variety of treats. Cranberry orange seems to be a popular combination, but it just isn’t my favorite. Orange flavor anything just isn’t my favorite. I enjoy oranges and orange juice, but when it comes to orange flavoring I can do without. I was searching for a cranberry lemon muffin and came across this. I must admit I was a little skeptical, but my skepticism was wrong and these proved to be some yummy muffins. I had to make a small substitution because I ran out of white sugar. I noted my change below. If you wanted to lighten these up even more you could easily sub applesauce for the oil.
Cranberry Lemon Muffins
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1 Cup sugar (I used light brown)
3 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Cup milk
1/2 Cup vegetable oil
1 tsp lemon extract (I used the juice and zest of 1 lemon)
1 Cup fresh or frozen cranberries, halved
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In another bowl, beat the eggs, milk, oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in cranberries.
Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 400 degrees F for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan to a wire rack.
Yield: approximately 18 muffins
My two favorite fruits have to be cranberries and lemon, of course I like raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, who am I fooling — I love them all, but I especially love fresh cranberries and lemon. When I stumbled across this recipe I was looking for a pumpkin bread and when I saw this I knew it was perfect. This bread was delicious (it was gone in one morning!) and the combination of pumpkin and cranberry is a true Thanksgiving classic. I will be making this bread again and again.
Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
2 Cups all-purpose flour
2/3 Cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 Cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 Cup canned pumpkin
1/4 Cup water
1/4 Cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
3/4 Cup coarsely chopped cranberries
Vegetable cooking spray
Combine the flour, brown sugar, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Combine pumpkin, water, oil, vanilla, and egg whites. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring until just incorporated. Fold in cranberries.
Pour batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Source: Cooking Light
Ok, so I may be in love with a new cookie. These little darlings are magnificient! I love lemon and was quite intriqued by the addition of ricotta cheese. It happened to be even more convenient that I had some leftover ricotta in the fridge from last weeks lasagna. The flavor of these resembles a lemon bar, but the texture is more cake like than cookie like. I thought these were fabulous and will definitely be making them again and again.
Lemon Ricotta Cookies
For the cookie:
2 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 Cups sugar
15 oz ricotta cheese
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
For the glaze:
1 1/2 Cups powdered sugar
3 Tbsp lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon dough (2 Tbsp per cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes before transfering to wire racks.
To make the glaze, combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl, stirring until smooth. Spoon about 1/2 tsp onto each cookie and spread using the back of a spoon. Let the glaze harden about 2 hours.
Source: Little Ms. Foodie
As soon as I saw these ingenious little cupcakes I immediately starred them in my google reader. Unfortunately for me, I will not make sweets unless I have someone to take them so they are out of my house! Last week, my internship site was having a pot luck for one of the ladies who was moving to another hospital. I quickly volunteered to make a dessert (or two!). These cupcakes were such a hit and I was thrilled to try a new technique.
Apple Pie Cupcakes
3 cups sifted cake flour (I used 3 Cups all-purpose minus 6 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp. butter
2 tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp sugar
3 large apples, peeled, cored and diced
2 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350 and line 24 muffin tins with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together on medium speed about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla mixing well to combine. Add the dry ingredients and milk alternating dry, milk, dry, milk, dry. Stir until just combined.
Fill cupcake liners about ¾ full. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, 18-22 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
To make the filling, heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the cinnamon and sugar and cook for a minute, until the mixture begins to bubble. Lower the heat to medium and add apples, mixing well. Cook approximately 10 minutes or until apples are tender. Cool completely.
Meanwhile, use the cone technique to remove a ‘cone’ from the center of each cupcake. Make sure to leave a rim around the top of each cupcake. Fill the holes with the cooled apple mixture.
For the frosting, use a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add confectioners’ sugar and salt beating at medium-low speed until sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, approximately 15 seconds. Add, vanilla and heavy cream and beat at medium speed until incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, approximately 4 minutes. Scrape the bowl down completely at about 2 minutes.
To decorate the cupcakes, top each cupcake with a dollop of buttercream.
Source: Adapted from Annie’s Eats
Since my internship is in full swing, most days I leave the house by 6:30am. I am a big breakfast eater (mostly cereal), but leaving so early in the morning makes it hard to get my cereal in! I wanted to make something that I could just grab and eat. I saw these and thought they would be delicious, and they were! In fact, Joe said they were out of sight! Little did he know that they were good for him . I will definitely be trying these with all different kinds of fillings.
1 ½ Cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
2 ½ tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
⅔ cup vanilla fat-free yogurt
¼ cup butter, melted
3 Tbsp low-fat milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup strawberry jam
1 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt with a whisk. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and set aside. In a smaller bowl combine melted butter, yogurt, egg, and milk whisking well. Add yogurt mixture to the flour and combine until just moistened.
In a greased muffin tin place 1 Tbsp of batter at the bottom of each muffin hole. Top with 1 tsp of strawberry jam. Top evenly with leftover batter. Combine remaining sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over batter. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Cool 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack.
Yields 12 muffins, 4 points per serving
Source: Cooking Light
Joe requested an apple pie this week, and since we had a dinner to go to this weekend I decided this would be the perfect treat to bring. I had heard so many raves for Dorie Greenspan’s apple pie so I decided this would be the pie to try. I did, however, opt to use a different pie crust from William Sonoma. I love this crust because it can be made in the stand mixer and doesn’t require any refrigeration. This entry will also serve as my entry to Joelen’s Pie event. Thank you Joelen for reminding me!
Basic Pie Crust
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
8 Tbs. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 4-inch cubes
3 Tbs. very cold water
To make dough in a stand mixer, fit the mixer with the paddle attachment, and stir flour, sugar, and sat together in the mixer bowl. Add the butter and toss with a fork to coat. Mix on medium-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with the butter no larger than small peas. Add the water and mix just until the dough pulls together. To make a lattice top or double crust the above recipe will need to be doubled.
Dorie Greenspan’s Apple Pie
2 Batches above pie dough
6 Granny Smith apples – about 3 1/2 pounds
3/4 cup sugar
zest of one lemon
2 tbsp quick-cooking tapioca
1/2 tsp gound cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp graham cracker crumbs
Preheat oven to 425
To prepare the apple filling, peel, core, and slice apples into 1/4” slices. Place in a large bowl and combine lemon zest, tapioca, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Cover and set aside until ready to use.
Make the crust, and transfer the dough to a work surface, pat into a ball and flatten into a disk. Lightly flour the work surface, then flatten the disk with 6-8 gentle taps of the rolling pin. Lift the dough and give it a quarter turn. Lightly dust the top of the dough or rolling pin with flour as needed, then roll out into a round at least 12 inches in diameter about 1/8” thick.
Fit the dough over a pie dish, trimming the crust so that ½” overhangs the edge. Pile apples onto the dough.
To make a lattice top (the pie dough recipe needs to be doubled) take the other half of the pie dough and roll it out just as before. Use a pastry cutter to cut strips approximately ½” thick. Lay about 8 strips horizontally across the pie. Take every other strip and fold it back onto itself and lay another strip vertically (at a slight angle). Unfold the strips to their normal position and fold back the alternate remaining strips. Repeat until the whole pie is done. Trim the strips so that they are even with the bottom crust. Gently fold over the overhanging crust using your fingertips.
Place pie plate on a baking sheet and bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and continue baking for 45 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Source: Fresh from Cate’s Kitchen.
These are great little breakfast treats, and remind me of little pies I used to love as a child. They are fun to whip up and can be made with a variety of fruits. I made a couple with some bluberries I had just to compare. They were both equally delicious!
2 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp lemon zest
2 sticks (1 c.) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 in pieces
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
6-8 Tbsp cold buttermilk
4 c. fresh strawberries (or other fruit), hulled and quartered
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Powdered sugar for dusting
2 eggs, lightly beaten
In a small bowl combine vanilla and buttermilk, set aside. In the mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment combine flour, sugar, salt, and lemon zest. Mix to combine. Add in butter pieces and mix until dough resembles course meal and pieces are less than pea sized. Add in buttermilk mixture and mix until dough forms. Transfer dough to a powdered sugar work surface and shape into a flat disc. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
For the filling combine strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar. Mix and set aside
Preheat the oven to 400 and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Dust work surface with sugar, and cut dough into 12 equal portions. Shape into a flat disc and roll into a circle (about 6″ in diameter & 1/8″ thick). Fill half of the dough with fruit filling, brush egg onto the edge of half of the dough round. Fold dough into a semicircle and brush top with egg mixtures. Press edges together with prongs of a fork. Slit a hole in the top of the pie with a knife for air to escape. Repeat with remaining pies.
Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, or until tops are golden brown. Allow to cool for 7-10 minutes on baking sheets before transferring to wire racks to continue cooling.
Source: Adapted from Good Things Catered