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Taco Seasoning

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.

Ingredients:
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

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and mix well to blend. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Source: Annie’s Eats

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March 2, 2011 at 5:21 am 1 comment

Oreo Fudge Bars

oreo-fudge-bars-2
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
Oreo Fudge Bars
Ingredients
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)

Directions
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

March 10, 2009 at 8:06 pm 1 comment

Risotto Cakes with Lemon Aioli

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-cakes1
Risotto Cakes with Lemon Aioli
Ingredients
For the Cakes:
Leftover risotto
Panko
Egg
Flour
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

Directions

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.

Source: Lovestoeat

February 25, 2009 at 9:48 pm 1 comment

Cranberry Lemon Muffins

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.

cran-lemon-muffins

Cranberry Lemon Muffins
Ingredients
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1 Cup sugar (I used light brown)
3 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
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

Source: Allrecipes

January 27, 2009 at 4:03 pm 5 comments

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

pumpkin-cranberry-bread

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

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
Ingredients
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

Directions
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

December 10, 2008 at 9:30 pm 2 comments

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

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

Lemon Ricotta Cookies
Ingredients
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
2 eggs
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

Directions
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

December 7, 2008 at 8:34 pm 1 comment

Apple Pie Cupcakes

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.

 

Roscoe wondering why I am discarding the center of a perfectly good cupcake J

Apple Pie Cupcakes

 

Ingredients

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

4 eggs

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

1 cup milk

 

Filling:

2 Tbsp. butter

2 tsp. cinnamon

3 Tbsp sugar

3 large apples, peeled, cored and diced

 

Frosting:

2 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp heavy cream

 

Directions

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

October 12, 2008 at 7:17 pm 4 comments

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