Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ethiopian Meal

Here are some links to Ethiopian recipes. I love the injera bread. It looks like a pancake but is spongier for picking up food.

2 C whole wheat flour
1 C all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 C club soda
3/4 C plain yogurt
1 C water
Cooking spray

To prepare injera, weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Combine club soda and yogurt in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add the yogurt mixture to the flour mixture; stir with a whisk until smooth. Add water.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Pour about 1/3 cup batter per flatbread onto pan in a spiral, starting at the center; cook 20 seconds. Cover the pan; cook an additional 40 seconds or just until set. Transfer to a plate, and cover with a cloth to keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining cooking spray and batter, wiping the pan dry with a paper towel between flatbreads.

Here is the original version and a recipe for carrot-ginger chutney which I did not make.

I made this stew but substituted peas for edamame and dried mint for fresh.

And these corn mashed potatoes are amazing! These are a great introduction to Ethiopian food for kids. They love the injera because it is like pancakes and these are mild but uniquely African.

I was going to make the Fresh Cheese with Herbs but didn't have cheesecloth. Next time.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Breakfast Hash Brown Casserole

This tastes a lot better than it deserves to for how quick it is to make. I usually mix it up the night before, then put it in the oven in the morning, set the timer, and then can go exercise/feed the babies/crawl back in bed depending on how the morning is going.

Layer in ungreased 9x13 baking pan:
8 hash brown patties
1 can mushrooms, drained (or peppers would be good if you're not a fungi person)

Mix and pour over the top
2 T dried onion flakes
1 t. garlic powder
6 eggs
1/3 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
extra mushroom liquid if you want

Top with cheese, if you want.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until eggs are set in the middle.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Cuban Black-Bean Stew with Rice

Serves 4, prep time: 20 min, total time: 30 min

1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
1 TBS olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 red bell pepper (ribs and seeds removed), chopped
2 cans (19 oz each) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14.5 oz) vegetable broth
1 TBS cider vinegar
1/2 tsp dried oregano
coarse salt and ground pepper
garnishes (optional) lime wedges, fresh cilantro, and sliced radishes

1. Prepare rice according to package instructions. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Cook stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Add beans, broth, vinegar, and oregano. Cook, mashing some beans with the back of a spoon, until slightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Fluff rice with a fork. Serve beans over rice, with garnishes if desired.

** If you like, serve this protein-rich vegetarian dish with brown rice to boost the health factor even more. It's also delicious with chips or tortillas alongside.

*Note: I used green bell pepper, it worked just as well, though maybe not as colorful. Also, you may want to cut back on broth. I used the whole can as told, but the beans seemed a tad watery. The name of this recipe may make you think it's spicy or hot, but it's not. It's a mild, but tasty flavor and even my 14 month old daughter enjoyed it.

(Recipe found in September 2008 issue of Everyday Food: A Martha Stewart Magazine)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Flounder Spinach Roll-Ups

Last night I made the second of two recipes I came upon in the Easy Solutions magazine/coupon book that our local grocery store hands out. Both were for Flounder and both were excellent. You could substitute chicken for the fish and I think it would taste just as good, but if you're willing to try the fish I highly recommend it.

"Fresh flounder is mild, delicate and sweet. It taste faintly like the ocean, with a light and breezy flavor. For people who prefer meat, flounder is usually acceptable. And for young children who've never tried fresh fish before, flounder is the perfect introduction to seafood."

I buy my fresh flounder at Costco in the bulk fillet packs. It's cheaper than the pre-packaged frozen and allows me to decide what I want fresh and what I want to freeze and store for later.

Flounder Spinach Roll-Ups
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Serves: 4

8 large mushrooms, sliced (I used portabella)
8 oz fresh spinach chopped (I used frozen, I didn't like it as well as fresh, but it works in a pinch)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 TBS vegetable oil
3 TBS crumbled feta cheese
4 flounder fillets
4 wedges of lemon
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On stove, heat a pan to medium heat and add vegetable oil, then garlic to soften. Add the mushrooms and cook 5 minutes, stirring, and until the liquid released has evaporated. Add spinach and cook another 2 minutes until wilted. Take pan off heat and drain excess liquid. Sprinkle feta over mixture and toss thoroughly. Assemble the Roll-Ups by dividing the vegetables in four portions, placing one portion at each flounder fillet end then carefully rolling up. Secure with toothpicks and place fish rolls, seam side down, in an oiled baking dish. Add 2 TBS of water and loosely cover baking dish with foil Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until fish flakes easily and is entirely opaque. Serve with lemon wedges, salt and pepper to taste.

I wanted my fish to be a little more golden, so after baking I turned on the broiler and let them sit under it for a couple minutes.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

New Food Finds

Because I had some random frequent flyer miles with Northwest Airlines I decided to cash them in for magazine subscriptions. One magazine I chose was Everyday Food, which is a Martha Stewart magazine.

It comes printed in the size of a Readers Digest every month. The magazine includes easy, healthy recipes and interesting articles. I've tried a few recipes and have been very pleased with how simple they were and how little I had to shop -- there weren't really any exotic food items needed. I hope to try a few that I've found in the October issue and will post them here if I think they're worth sharing.

So... just for your information. :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Vegetables in Dessert

I read Jessica Seinfield's book and I really tried to like the concept of vegetables in my dessert but I just couldn't do it. This recipe, however, is something I'll make an exception for. So, if you have any leftover summer squash / zucchini, it just might come in handy!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Cherry Crisp

This is a quick and easy dessert (other than pitting the cherries) that is a big hit.

6 cups pitted cherries
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup regular oats
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 1/2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 375°.
Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl; spoon into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Combine 2/3 cup flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, oats, and cinnamon, and cut in the butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal. (Or do it in the food processor.) Sprinkle over the blueberry mixture. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Home Made Mayonaise

My friend Ranee posted how to make home made mayonaise on her blog. Check out her blog for the photo edition.

I was interested because so far the only mayonaise Ben can eat is Trader Joe's. All the rest are made with soybean oil.

Below are her written instructions:

It is quick and easy, and you'll never want to go back to store mayo again. Yours won't have gums, cheap oils, extra sugars, or any of that junk in it, and it will taste far better. Even with store eggs. Use fresh, if you can get them, though. It does require a stick blender, so if you don't have that, you'll have to invest $15-25 in one of those (unless you can find one at a garage sale or thrift store or have a family member or friend who doesn't want hers). Things that matter: Use a glass jar. I've always been successful with a glass jar, I've had failures with plastic ones. The egg needs to be room temperature. We use a recently gathered egg. You can put your egg on the counter in the morning and make this in the afternoon, or put the egg in a hot cup of water while you get everything else ready. Then switch the water out with fresh hot water and wait a little more. It needs to be room temperature. The lemon juice (or lime juice) must be fresh. Use a light oil, preferably cold pressed, so the flavor isn't too strong. You may like olive oil mayo, but if you don't, a light oil will provide a more "American" flavor.

In a glass jar (I use a peanut butter jar) that is wide enough for the blender to fit through put, in this order:

1 egg, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. Fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. dry mustard powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup light oil

Put stick blender down to the bottom of the jar without turning it on. Then start it and, rocking side to side, slowly pull it up to the top. This will take you about 7-10 seconds. Literally. You will not want to go back to store mayonaisse again. Your family will no longer be tied to supermarket prices for mayo, you won't get all sorts of additives and cheap ingredients and now you can teach your children something about emulsion, also.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Apple Bread

The zucchini bread recipe below is excellent, and rather quick to put together. A variation that my family loves is Apple Bread. Follow the recipe, but substitute:

- the same amount of apple for the zucchini
- 1 1/2 tsp of clove instead of the cinnamon

(In the interests of full disclosure, I haven't turned this specific recipe into apple bread. I use the one in my BH&G cookbook. They're similar, although this one makes more batter.)

The best part is the crunchy sugary crust on top. Mmm. Off to check if we have any apples now...

-- SJ

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Zucchini Bread

A friend recently brought me two zucchinis the size of police nightsticks. We've used some for dinner in our favorite saute recipe. But I still had a lot leftover so I decided to take some of them and make some zucchini bread. I used a recipe I found on another blog (here). It turned out wonderful! It actually reminds me of pumpkin bread, yum... It was especially good with an iced chai.

Mom's Zucchini recipe
From Kelly Sauer

3 eggs
2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Add:1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups flour
2 cups grated zucchini

Bake in two greased and floured loaf pans or in one bundt pan for 50 minutes at 350°.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Chicken with Blueberry-Ginger Chutney

Yesterday a friend gave us 4 pints of fresh blueberries. We had blueberry pancakes for breakfast and then I went looking for a blueberry recipe. I found this one in Cooking Light. My family loved it! I tasted the chutney and it was yummy. There are multiple ways to print this off the web if you go directly to the site.

The chutney can be served warm, chilled, or at room temperature. Make it first, and chill while the chicken marinates, or prepare the chutney when the chicken is almost done marinating. Compared to fresh, frozen blueberries take about five minutes longer to cook and thicken because they release additional water.

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup golden raisins
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Dash of ground cloves
1 garlic clove, minced

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
6 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
3 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To prepare chutney, combine first 11 ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 25 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
To prepare chicken, combine oil, basil, oregano, chicken, and 3 minced garlic cloves in a large heavy-duty zip-top bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours, turning occasionally. Remove chicken from bag. Sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper evenly over chicken.

Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken 5 minutes on each side or until done. Serve with chutney.

6 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast half and about 1/4 cup chutney)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Homemade Sweet Ice Tea

This recipe comes courtesy of my mother-in-law, Jane M. For some time I've been trying to find the perfect ratio of tea to water to sugar, this is exactly what I was looking for.

Sweet Ice Tea

4 Tea bags (The key is to buy a box of your store brand generic tea. Lipton I find too bitter. The tea I bought was America's Choice brand and just a generic black tea.)
1/2 gallon of hot water
Steep the tea bags in the hot water, the longer the stronger.
1/4 cup of sugar (add more if you like it sweeter)
1/2 gallon of cold water
Refrigerate until chilled to taste - or for quicker refreshment serve over ice cubes.

It's simple, it's sweet, it's delicious!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Kids Cooking

  • Thanks so much for keeping this site alive (if barely). I love y'all's ideas!

    First off, let me say that I think the whole idea of making warm memories by letting your kids cook with you is highly overrated. I'm a fairly low-key person, but Addie and Stuart can have me chewing on my Pampered Chef rubber spatula within five minutes.

    BUT, they enjoy it. As long as I view it as Good Training instead of a Good Time, we do fine.

    Here are two things they enjoy making:


    This is an old kid-friendly standby: fruit and yogurt. I have a safety knife that they can use to cut up the fruit, which makes it even more fun for them. But the real deal with these parfaits is that we add chocolate graham crackers or, on occasion, crumbled cookies. Forget the granola. Put in a little bit of junk, and they'll love the whole thing!

    We layer:

    * Vanilla yogurt

    * Strawberries, blueberries, or bananas

    * Chocolate graham crackers or some other yummy crunchy sweet

It makes a good breakfast or a side dish at supper. If Stuart will eat it, you know it's kid-friendly.

Chicken Smorgasbord

Take two chicken breasts and cut them into four pieces. Make a "bowl" of aluminum foil for each piece. Season each one differently: barbecue sauce, Italian dressing, basil and oregano, cinnamon and ginger, dill, etc. Drizzle with a little olive oil to keep it moist. Put the "bowls" into a casserole dish and bake at 350 or 375 for, oh, half an hour (until the chicken is at 180). When it's done, you have four different flavors of chicken to choose from, plus really yummy broth.

Addie and Stuart love choosing their seasonings. My job is mostly to say things like, "Um, that's enough dill!" or "No, no, don't put basil with cinnamon. Probably won't taste good." This dish is especially good with couscous.

-- SJ

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Easy Enchilada Sauce

Ben is allergic to soy and I've discovered that most premaid enchilada sauces have soybean oil. Recently I found this recipe in Cooking Lightmade some adjustments and discovered an easy recipe. It is yummy!

1 t olive oil
1/2 C diced red onion
1 t minced garlic
1/2 C vegetable broth
1 T chili powder
1 T honey
1 t ground cumin
1/2 t salt
28 oz can crushed tomatoes

Heat in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in everything else. Reduce heat; simmer 30 minutes. Yields 3 cups. (We used it to feed 6 people.)

I made some yummy black bean, corn, and zucchini enchiladas but the sauce would go well with chicken or onion/sour cream enchiladas.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Chicken Asparagus Stir Fry

Recipe coming soon. This is what happens when I have the picture and recipe in two different locations!
Here you go. My comments/adjustments are in parenthesis.
1 c. uncooked rice (optional, I ate the stir fry alone. Nathan had noodles with his.)
2 T. vegetable oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch wide strips
(I used boneless skinless chicken tenderloins since they were cheaper and saved me cutting time.)
2 medium red bell peppers, cut into thin strips (I used just one pepper.)
1/2 lb. fresh asparagus, cut diagonally into 1 inch pieces (I used one bundle.)
1/2 c. stir fry sauce
(I tried to pick out the most authentic looking bottle of sauce in the Asian foods section of the grocery store, rather than going with a common brand. I was skeptical about 1/2 c. of sauce being enough, but it goes a long way.)
1. Cook rice according to package directions. Keep hot.
2. Heat oil in wok or large skilled over medium-high heat until hot. Stir fry chicken 3 to 4 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center.
3. Stir in bell peppers and asparagus; reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook 2 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring once or twice.
4. Stir in sauce. Serve immediately with rice.
Makes 4 servings, or enough for 2 people if hungry/eating without rice.
Prep and cook time, approx. 20 minutes.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Pear Clafouti

This is our new favorite dessert. It is quick, easy, relatively low-fat, with minimal sugar. And it is fabulous comfort food.

Pear Clafouti
originally from Cooking Light (but I've made some changes)

The keys to a successful clafouti (cla-foo-TEE) are minimal use of flour and a hot oven in which to cook it quickly. As one of the national desserts of France, it's quite versatile.

Cooking spray
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
2 cubed peeled pears
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
2 cups milk, divided (use 1% or 2% over non-fat)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375°.
Coat a 9 to 10-inch deep-dish pie plate with cooking spray, and dust plate with 1 teaspoon flour. Arrange the pear cubes in the bottom of prepared dish, and set aside.
Combine 3/4 cup flour, salt, and nutmeg in a bowl. Gradually add 1 cup milk, stirring with a whisk until well-blended. Add 1 cup milk, eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract, stirring until smooth. Pour batter over pear cubes. Bake mixture at 375° for 35 minutes or until set. I always have to bake it longer than 35 minutes; usually 45. You could also try baking hotter. My next attempt I'm going to try 390 or so.

6 servings (serving size: 1 wedge)