Tag Archives: make ahead

Chicken Soup with Kale and Quinoa {Healthy + Easy}

16 Feb

Quinoa Kale Chicken Soup-3

All I ate yesterday was this soup, and cookies.

I mean, a lot of each of them, but very little variety throughout the day. I made both because I had cravings – and satisfy said cravings, I did. I hear this cold spell they call “winter” may be breaking soon, but until then, I am all comfort foods, all the time.

Quinoa Kale Chicken Soup

This soup is incredibly healthy and satisfying – homemade stock, organic chicken, quinoa, kale, and veggies. It also serves as a reminder that when you like all of the ingredients that go into a dish, chances are very high that you will like the end result … and return to the pot for more. Like 4 times.

Quinoa Kale Chicken Soup-2

Stay warm!

Ingredients:

– 3 carrots {wash all; leave one unpeeled and cut it into three pieces; peel two, and cut the tops and bottom off of them}
– 2 pieces of celery {wash all; cut into three pieces each}
– 1 yellow or white onion {wash it; prep it to get read to chop; cut off the top and bottom, and remove the outer peels}
– 2 bay leaves
– 1/2 t whole black peppercorns
– 1 t kosher salt
– 1 whole organic or hormone-free chicken, any size
– water {about 6-10 cups}
– 1 t dried thyme
– 3 cloves garlic, sliced
– 3/4 c uncooked quinoa, rinsed well and dried
– 1 bunch lacinato kale, washed and sliced in to thin ribbons, and then roughly chopped

How do I make it?

  • Place the unpeeled carrot, the celery, and the trimmings (the parts you cut off and wouldn’t eat) from the carrots, celery, and onion in a large soup pot. Add the bay leaves, peppercorns, and salt. Bring the pot over to the counter next to the sink.
  • Wash the chicken in the sink and remove the bag of giblets, if it’s inside the chicken. Pat dry with paper towels (just so it doesn’t drip).
  • Place the chicken on top of the vegetable trimmings. Cover with water until the chicken is submerged by an inch.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat; when it boils, reduce the heat so the liquid is just simmering – this is about medium heat for me because the pot is so full.
  • Cook for about an hour.
  • During this time, dice the onion, slice the garlic, and slice the two remaining carrots into coins less than 1/4″ thick.
  • After the hour, try to skim off any fat from the top, but don’t worry, you will have another chance to skim off fat.
  • Place a very large bowl (or another soup pot) in your sink, and place a colander inside. Have a second large bowl, and a fine mesh strainer available close by.
  • Remove the chicken from the pot with tongs, and place on a surface with a lip (like a curved plate). Let it cool for a bit.
  • Meanwhile, carefully pour the contents from the pot into the colander that is inside the bowl. Discard what lands in the colander – you only want to keep the chicken stock (and the chicken, which you have set aside).
  • Place the fine mesh strainer over the second bowl, and pour the chicken stock from the first bowl into the second.
  • Now, you could choose to cook right through to completion {if you do, skip down to the next curly brackets}. But because the quinoa and kale will soak up the stock, I would stop here to refrigerate the stock overnight, to let the fat rise to the top (then the quinoa and kale will be cooking in slightly healthier stock – I mean, not a TON healthier, but every bit counts, right?). To do so, let the stock cool enough that you can put it in a container that seals tight (like a thick plastic pitcher with a snap-on lid). Pull the chicken off the bone, and refrigerate separately. Refrigerate the carrots, onion, and garlic as well.
  • The next day, skim the fat off of the stock.
  • {If you decide to cook straight through, start again HERE:} Heat a large soup pot over medium-high. Add a bit of olive oil and cook the diced onion and carrots until they start to soften; add the garlic and thyme, and cook for a few minutes more.
  • Add the strained, skimmed stock back to the pot, and bring back to a boil.
  • Add the quinoa, and cook with the lid off for 10-12 minutes, or until the “tails” form on the quinoa.
  • Add the shredded kale, and cook for just a few minutes more. Add the chicken and heat through.

Quinoa Kale Chicken Soup-4

More info please?

This is another great lunch to bring to work – just keep a pitcher in the work fridge, and have a bowl on hand for heating.

The kale will hold up well to the boiling and being submerged in liquid for a few days.

Chicken Noodle Soup {Healthy + Easy}

8 Feb

Healthy Chicken Noodle Soup-5This is a LONG cold stretch, isn’t it? The winter has been unrelenting for so many parts of the country. Know what helps? Soup.

Healthy Chicken Noodle Soup-7

Soup helps so many things. It is an ultimate comfort food for a reason – it warms from the inside out, and somehow always brings a smile. This winter, I have been thrilled every time I have seen a big bowl of chicken noodle soup staring back at me when I open the fridge. Score.

Making chicken soup from scratch is not difficult, and you know exactly what is going in to it: chicken, vegetables, garlic, herbs, water. Noodles if you want them, and salt to your taste. It is barely more work than boiling all of those things together, I promise. Healthy, easy, satisfying.

Healthy Chicken Noodle Soup-3 copyIngredients:
– 3 carrots {wash all; leave one unpeeled and cut it into three pieces; peel two, and cut the tops and bottom off of them}
– 2 pieces of celery {wash all; cut into three pieces each}
– 1 yellow or white onion {wash it; prep it to get read to chop; cut off the top and bottom, and remove the outer peels}
– 2 bay leaves
– 1/2 t whole black peppercorns
– 1 t kosher salt
– 1 whole organic or hormone-free chicken, any size
– water {about 6-10 cups}
– 1 t dried thyme
– 3 cloves garlic, sliced
– 1 c wide egg noodles {optional}

How do I make it?

  • Place the unpeeled carrot, the celery, and the trimmings (the parts you cut off and wouldn’t eat) from the carrots, celery, and onion in a large soup pot. Add the bay leaves, peppercorns, and salt. Bring the pot over to the counter next to the sink.
  • Wash the chicken in the sink and remove the bag of giblets, if it’s inside the chicken. Pat dry with paper towels (just so it doesn’t drip).
  • Place the chicken on top of the vegetable trimmings. Cover with water until the chicken is submerged by an inch.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat; when it boils, reduce the heat so the liquid is just simmering – this is about medium heat for me because the pot is so full.
  • Cook for about an hour.
  • During this time, dice the onion, slice the garlic, and slice the two remaining carrots into coins less than 1/4″ thick.
  • After the hour, try to skim off any fat from the top, but don’t worry, you will have another chance to skim off fat.
  • Place a very large bowl (or another soup pot) in your sink, and place a colander inside. Have a second bowl, and a fine mesh strainer available close by.
  • Remove the chicken from the pot with tongs, and place on a surface with a lip (like a curved plate). Let it cool for a bit.
  • Meanwhile, carefully pour the contents from the pot into the colander that is inside the bowl. Discard what lands in the colander – you only want to keep the chicken stock (and the chicken, which you have set aside).
  • Place the fine mesh strainer over the second bowl, and pour the chicken stock from the first bowl into the second.
  • Take the empty pot and heat over medium-high. Add a bit of olive oil and cook the diced onion and carrots until they start to soften; add the garlic and thyme, and cook for a few minutes more.
  • Add the strained stock back to the pot, and bring back to a boil.
  • While you are waiting for it to boil, pull the chicken off of the bone. I usually just use the white meat in my soup. You can chop it or shred it.
  • Add the noodles {if using} and chicken, and cook until the noodles are cooked through.
  • You could eat the soup now, but you will probably find it to taste a bit greasy. So, if you can bear to wait, once it cools a bit, refrigerate it over night. I find that a thick plastic pitcher (or two) with a snap-on lid words great for refrigerating and serving purposes.
  • In the morning, you will find that the fat has risen to the top and solidified. Just scoop it off with a large spoon and throw it away. You may be scooping out a bit of thyme this way, but don’t worry, you already cooked the flavor out of it.

Healthy Chicken Noodle Soup-8

More info please?

This is a great lunch to bring to work – just keep a pitcher in the work fridge, and have a bowl on hand for heating. It also freezes really well, I would recommend portioning into the round ziplock containers before freezing. You can change up the noodles you use, but the wide egg noodles just scream chicken noodle soup, don’t they? Want to make your own chicken stock for use in another recipe?  I would use this same method and just stop at the point where you strain the stock. Use the chicken for another purpose, like a chicken salad.

Healthy Chicken Noodle Soup-6

Puppy Chow

18 Jan

Puppy Chow-2When I was growing up, I distinctly remember the mother of one of my classmates making “puppy chow” for slumber parties and other gatherings. And I distinctly remember loving it. If you have had “puppy chow” – which I have learned is called “muddy buddies” in some regions – you understand how wide my eyes opened on my first bite of the crunchy, sweet treat – and how quickly I reached my powder sugar-coated fingertips back in the bowl for more.

Puppy Chow-3I think I am glad, calorie-wise, that I did not realize puppy chow was so easy to make – it can be completed in under 5 minutes, with ingredients you can easily keep on hand. Because I had never seen a batch smaller than an enormous serving bowl, it just seemed like an ordeal. Well, it’s not, as long as you have a huge bowl to mix it in. But you also don’t have to make 9 cups of cereal at a time: I have broken the recipe down to a single serving – one cup – and this might be my new go-to treat when I am looking for something sweet and satisfying. And super-easy. The recipe can be scaled for any amount in between, too.

With every bite, you will get an even distribution of chocolate, peanut butter, a bit of sugar, and a bite of crunch. It’s addictive, so good luck with that.

Puppy Chow-15

The base for puppy chow is Chex cereal – rice chex is recommended, but probably any of them would work. A melted mixture of chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter is poured on top, and as you toss the creamy mixture all around the cereal, it will cling to the cereal pieces. A coating of powdered sugar helps to separate and hold each piece together. The resulting chunks, I suppose, look a little like kibble – but this treat, covered in chocolate, is decidedly not for dogs!

Puppy Chow-4Puppy chow is great to put out at casual parties for easy snacking – but make sure to have a stack of napkins on hand because powdered sugar’s reputation is well-earned.

Puppy Chow-5{Large batch} Ingredients:
– 9 c Rice Chex cereal
– 1 c chocolate chips
– 1/2 c peanut butter
– 1/4 c (= 1/2 stick) unsalted butter
– 1 t vanilla
– 1.5 c powdered sugar

{Small batch} Ingredients:
– 1 c Rice Chex cereal
– 2 T chocolate chips
– 1 T  peanut butter
– 1/2 T unsalted butter
– a few drops of vanilla
– 3 T powdered sugar

How do I make it?

  • Place the cereal in a large bowl.
  • In a smaller, microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter for 30 seconds. Remove from the microwave and stir until it’s smooth. If you can’t get all the lumps out, microwave for a few more seconds – but there is probably enough heat in the bowl to stir it all out gently. Once it’s smooth, stir in the vanilla.
  • Pour the mixture evenly over the cereal, and then use a large spoon to distribute it. Stir it well!
  • Once all of the cereal is covered in the mixture, dust it all with half of the powdered sugar. Stir to distribute, and continue to add a small amount of powdered sugar at a time, stirring until each piece is coated in powdered sugar. {Some people put the cereal and powdered sugar in a bag, seal, and then shake to distribute. I have never tried this option, the bowl is just fine for me, but that might be a fun task for little hands who want to help out in the kitchen!}

Puppy Chow-8

Puppy Chow-9

Puppy Chow-11

Puppy Chow-12

Original recipe: http://www.chex.com/Recipes/RecipeView.aspx?RecipeId=45860&CategoryId=342

New Year’s Resolutions

14 Jan

We are two weeks in to 2014, and I thought I would check in on how everyone is doing with their New Year’s Resolutions. How goes it?

I try more and more to not have to find a reason to make positive changes, but there is something about a crisp new page on the calendar that is conducive to new behaviors, attitudes, and … food! New ideas in the kitchen, new recipes, new ingredients, you name it: 2014 seems like a great opportunity.

I have a few food-related New Year’s Resolutions for myself and want to share them with you here, and then I will check those boxes, so to speak, in future posts. I even made a “New Year’s Resolution” tag, if you would like to follow along that way. We are more likely to stick to our goals when we share them with others, right? Well here we go!

  1. Take healthy lunches and snacks to work: It’s often a struggle for me, time-wise, to plan meals for the week, get to the grocery store, cook, pack lunches the night before, and remember to bring it the next day. I would love to get this down to a system! It seems like casseroles and other one-pot comfort foods might be a good option (one container – easy to transport; and filling – our work cafeteria closes at 2pm so healthy afternoon snacks can be challenging). For snacks, healthy, filling, and easy to transport are also key. On busy days, I maaaay be guilty of trolling the halls for unattended candy jars (sigh), and I would love to curb that habit.
  2. Eat filling and healthy breakfasts: Too often I find myself needing to hunker down and work hard between 10:30 and 11:30 on weekdays … not because of any particular deadline or project at work, but because 10:30 is about when my coffee buzz has waned, and 11:30 is when it’s socially acceptable to eat lunch. When I have a full breakfast, I can power through; when I skip breakfast, I feel it. I generally don’t have a ton of time to prepare breakfast in the morning, but oatmeal is one option; I would also like to get into a routine of make-ahead breakfast sandwiches and breakfast burritos, and other similar dishes that I can grab on the go or heat quickly right when I get to work.
  3. Eat less meat: I love meat. I do. But I would like to exercise more moderation. I can’t promise that I will have “Meatless Mondays,” but I don’t think that one or two days per week is unreasonable.
  4. Get to know a few herbs and spices better: How many spices are in your spice rack? I counted once, when a friend of mine was writing an article for a magazine on a related topic, and it was more than 60 – I have to guess I am over 70 or 75 now. Some I crank through, like oregano, cumin, and red pepper flakes … others, like garam masala, tarragon, and even paprika I would like to find a few solid recipes for. And as fresh herbs become more bountiful in the warmer months, I am looking forward to picking up something pretty at the farmer’s market and exploring! Which herbs do you wish you knew more about or used more?
  5. Make my father proud: My dad wishes I had a Jewish food blog. I don’t. That niche is not really sustainable for me, but I like the idea of trying to make one traditional recipe per month. It will be worth it even if only to hear my dad do his impersonation of what he thinks it sounds like when I write blog posts. So cute.

If you have ideas for anything in this post, please leave them in the comments!

Mini Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cream Cookies

12 Jan

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies with Creme FillingI was in a pretty intense baking streak in December, and in preparation for an afternoon of baking with AWP, I came across this recipe for Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies. I love a good oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, and who doesn’t love a fluffy cream filling … just thinking about the sugar shell that forms on a great cream … give me a minute …

Sandwich Cookies-7

And I’m back.

I usually cook with whole ingredients, and opt for butter and oil over margarine or shortening. But from time to time a recipe looks really good and calls for something I don’t normally use. I had a partially-finished can of vegetable shortening in my pantry from a few recipes in the not-too-distant past, and it had just enough remaining in it for this recipe.

As I lifted the head of the stand mixer and AWP and I dipped our fingers in for a little taste, AWP immediately commented on how fluffy, light, and creamy the filling tasted. It looked like buttercream frosting, but tasted like a fluffier version of the inside of an Oreo. We nodded at each other and decided that shortening gave it that taste and texture. I still prefer to bake with butter, but a bit of shortening from time to time won’t hurt – still better than buying something packaged and pre-made, to me.

These cookies were delicious when fresh out of the oven – check out those melty chips! – but also lasted for several days in an airtight container. And by “several days,” I mean, “until I finished them.” Which did not take very long. These are a great treat to give as a gift in a cute box or tin, and would be fun for small hands to help assemble. I liked making these mini-sized, so I didn’t feel that guilty about eating two cookies at a time.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies with Creme Filling

Ingredients:
For the cookies:
– 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
– 1/3 c brown sugar
– 1/4 c sugar
– 1 egg
– 1 t vanilla
– 3/4 c flour
– 1/2 t baking soda
– 1 t cinnamon
– 1/4 t ground nutmeg
– 1/4 t kosher salt
– 1 3/4 c oats (quick or traditional)
– 1 c chocolate chips (any type)
For the cream filling:
1/4 c unsalted butter, softened
– 1/4 c vegetable shortening
– 2 1/4 c powdered sugar, sifted
– 1 T cream
– 1 t vanilla

How do I make it?

  • For the cookies: Place the butter and sugars in a mixing bowl, and mix until creamy (a few minutes).
  • With a silicone spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
  • Stop the mixer, and add about half the flour, and all of the baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Start the mixer on slow, and mix until combined. Add the rest of the flour and mix until just combined.
  • Scrape the batter off of the beaters or paddle attachment, and fold the oats and chocolate chips into the cookie dough until fully combined.
  • Cover the dough with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or overnight.
  • While the cookie dough chills, make the filling. Place the butter and shortening in the bowl of a mixer and mix until they are well combined.
  • Turn off the mixer and add a cup of powdered sugar to the butter mixture. Mix until incorporated, and scrape the sides of the bowl. Then add the rest of the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, 2 tablespoons at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again.
  • Add the cream and vanilla and continue to beat until smooth. Set aside until ready to use.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Using a small cookie scoop, scoop small amounts of the dough into your hand, and roll into a ball. I made the balls about 3/4″ in diameter. Line the balls of dough onto the lined cookie sheets.
  • Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes or until they start to brown. Let them cool for a bit on the cookie sheet, and then transfer to a cooling rack, or to a plate to continue to cool. They shouldn’t take that long to cool, but you want them to be pretty cool to the touch so they don’t melt the butter in the filling.
  • Try to pair each cookie up with another approximately the same size.
  • Spread some frosting – up to you how much! – on the flat side one cookie, and top with the flat side of its mate.

Sandwich Cookies-6

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies with Creme Filling

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies with Creme Filling

Original link: http://www.spoonforkbacon.com/2011/10/oatmeal-chocolate-chip-sandwich-cookies/

And a special thank-you to AWP for modeling this cookie with her pretty red nails!

How to: Make Kale Chips

30 Dec

How to Make Kale ChipsGuess what. You have ONE day until New Year’s resolutions begin. One more day to live it up before it’s back to salads and the overcrowded January gym for you. I hope you enjoy it!

I will start the January detox one day early for you, with Kale Chips. If you have not yet tried Kale Chips, SPOILER ALERT: they are not chips. They are kale. Kale that has been baked until crisp.

How to Make Kale Chips-12

Kale Chips are a super-healthy, super-crunchy dish that you can make with two ingredients: a bunch of kale and a bit of extra virgin olive oil. I recommend a pinch of salt as well, but that is up to you. And they are super-easy to make.

Step 1: Select the kale. I use lacinato kale for every kale recipe I have made. I prefer its texture to that of curly kale. If you “don’t like kale” but have only tried curly kale, why don’t you give lacinato (aka dinosaur aka tuscan) kale a try. It looks like a darker, thicker romaine lettuce (but you buy it in a bunch rather than in a head). If you don’t know if your local grocery store carries it, just call first. It is always at my local Whole Foods, farmer’s markets, and a few other stores I frequent – but it’s not everywhere all the time.

How to Make Kale Chips-5Step 2: Wash the kale. I have been washing my leafy greens in a large baking dish recently – they fit perfectly, and I just fill the dish with water and shake/scrub the greens in the water, drain, and repeat a few times. How to Make Kale ChipsOf course, you can also tear them first and use a colander (I just find the leaves are just a bit long to fit in the colander whole).

How to Make Kale Chips-2Step 3: Tear the kale into chip-sized pieces. The chips get VERY crisp and flaky, so I prefer to make them bite-sized so there aren’t kale shards all over the floor and couch. I recommend somewhere between the size of a peanut and a saltine {Note: saltine and peanut shown only for scale and size purposes!} It takes a little longer to make them small, but I think they crisp up better that way, and it’s worth it. Keep in mind that the chips will shrink when they bake. The smaller they are, the more they will shrink, because they will curl more. Oh, and don’t use any tough stems, just the leafy parts.

Satine comparison - Kale chips

Peanut comparison - Kale chips

Step 4: DRY the kale. Use as many paper towels if you need to, but the kale needs to be as dry as you can get it before you add the oil in the next step.

Step 5: Place the kale in a bowl and drizzle 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil (per bunch of kale) over the torn leaves. Use your hands to massage it in and cover all of the pieces.

Step 6: Spread the kale on a baking sheet in a single layer, and sprinkle VERY lightly with salt, if using.

How to Make Kale Chips-4Step 7: Bake for 15 minutes at 350. I have read some recipes that say you have to use very low heat, in the 200’s; others say very high heat, in the 400’s! So I go in between, at 350, and if they are not crispy at 15 minutes, I stay close by the oven and give them a few more minutes to do their thing. I find about 15 minutes works, and I also don’t need to flip them.

When the Kale Chips are done, they should flake to the touch and crumble if pinched. Kale Chips will keep up to a week in an airtight container – that is, if they aren’t eaten before then. You can just keep the container on the kitchen counter, but I accidentally refrigerated a batch once, and they held up fine!

How to Make Kale Chips-11

Perfect Fudge Brownies {King Arthur Flour Recipe}

22 Dec

King Arthur Fudge BrowniesI have identified these brownies as the beginning of my downfall this holiday season. I usually have considerable willpower, but with the way I acted around these brownies, I was surprised not to find “kryptonite” in the ingredient list.

The photo shoot for these brownies started with sixteen … and ended with … less than sixteen.

King Arthur Fudge Brownies-6

Well, more than four, but less than sixteen.

In the fudgy vs. cakey brownie battle, I side with the fudgy crew. These brownies are thick and fudgy, with a dense texture that I believe is referred to in culinary terms as “perfect.”

I have been using King Arthur flour almost exclusively for a few years (I also love their catalog, full of specialty baking items, so fun to peruse). But I had not explored the recipes available on the King Arthur website until I clicked through an email I received from them. I will be visiting that site often – tons of good stuff there!

I learned something really important, in the brownie realm, from this recipe. You know how sometimes when you make brownies, they have a crackly flaky top layer, and sometimes they don’t? Turns out that layer results from heating the butter and sugar together before mixing them in to the remaining ingredients. I had never paid attention, but some recipes call for this step and some don’t. So there you have it!

King Arthur Fudge Brownies-3How much do people LOVE round “two bite brownies”? Rhetorical question. Make this recipe into nuggets of goodness by using a mini muffin pan instead of a square baking dish. Just make sure to spray and flour the pan first, and have a small implement (like the TINY spatula shown below) to loosen them from the pan after a few minutes of cooling. {Or save yourself some work and just cut the brownies smaller from the square pan.}

King Arthur Fudge Brownies-4

King Arthur Fudge Brownies-5

Ingredients:
– 2 eggs
– 1/2 c + 2 T high-quality cocoa
– 1/2 t kosher salt
– 1/2 t baking powder
– 1/2 t instant coffee granules or espresso powder (you won’t taste it – it just heightens the chocolate flavor!)
– 1.5 t vanilla
– 1 stick unsalted butter
– 1 c + 2 T sugar
– 3/4 c flour
– 1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks {I had some Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate squares that I wanted to use up so I chopped them roughly}

How do I make it?

  • Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease an 8″ x 8″ or 9″ x 9″ pan.
  • Crack the eggs into a bowl, and beat them with the cocoa, salt, baking powder, coffee granules or espresso powder, and vanilla until smooth.
  • In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the butter and sugar, and heat, stirring, until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot and JUST starts to bubble. Once it bubbles and the mixture looks shiny, turn off the heat.
  • Add the hot butter and sugar mixture to the egg mixture, and stir until smooth.
  • Add the flour, and stir until smooth.
  • Add the chocolate chips or chunks, and stir to distribute. If you want the chips to retain their shape and not melt in, let the batter cool in the bowl for a few minutes before stirring in the chips.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake the brownies for about 30 minutes (check around 27 minutes). When a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it, the brownies are done. The brownies will be more set around the edges, and the middle will still look moist (but still cooked through).
  • Cool on a rack before cutting; use a bench scraper to make sure you get straight lines. But if you don’t get straight lines, and need to keep “evening it off,” I won’t tell.

King Arthur Fudge Brownies-2Original link: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/fudge-brownies-recipe

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

8 Dec

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese FrostingWouldn’t it have been nice to wake up this morning to warm, sweet, soft cinnamon rolls, straight out of the oven?

I agree, especially poring over these pictures on this snowy morning!

These Overnight Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting are perfect to serve when you are hosting a crowd; or make them a tradition to serve your family on a birthday or holiday morning.  Along with the Bagel Bake, they are on any brunch menu I have a hand in (given that I have time to prepare the dough the night before). They are perfect to bring to a friend who has just had a baby, or someone who is recovering from surgery. And I have never heard anyone object to keeping the leftovers!

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls-3I love seeing the cinnamon and sugar bursting at the seams. It’s all I can do to not take a bite of the dough … the only thing stopping me is knowing how much better the finished product will be.

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls-4

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls-5This batch is ready to go into the oven, in a disposable or reusable dish, destined for a colleague who recently had a baby. Note there are only 9 here – I saved 3 for myself, to experiment in a muffin pan. It didn’t go well. Stick with the larger pan.

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls - SquareThe below picture is the same batch, baked, pre-frosting.

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls-6And therrrre’s the frosting.

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls-9

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls-7

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls-8

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls-11… I baked and saved the uneven ends for myself.

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls-12

Ingredients:

For the dough:
– 4 egg yolks, room temperature
– 1 whole egg, room temperature
– 1/4 c sugar
– 6 T unsalted butter, melted
– 3/4 c buttermilk, room temperature*
– approximately 4 c flour, plus additional for dusting
– 1 package instant dry yeast
– 1 1/4 t kosher salt

For the filling:
– 1 c brown sugar, packed
– 1 T ground cinnamon
– pinch of salt
– 1.5T unsalted butter

For the frosting:
– 1/4 c cream cheese, softened (low-fat will work)
– 3 T milk
– 1.5 c powdered sugar

How do I make it?

  • For the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment (or, by hand), whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk.
  • Add approximately 2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt; whisk until moistened and combined.
  • Remove the whisk attachment and replace with a dough hook.
  • Add all but 3/4 cup of the remaining flour and knead on low speed until the dough is soft and moist but not sticky, adding more flour if necessary. Knead on low speed a few minutes more, until the dough clears the sides of the bowl.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 30 seconds.
  • Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, cover and let double in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. It’s ok if it doesn’t completely double in volume.
  • While the dough is rising, make the filling: Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until well incorporated, and set aside until ready to use.
  • Butter a baking dish (either 9″ x 9″, or 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish).
  • When the dough is done rising, turn it onto a lightly floured work surface (I just use a clean granite countertop, but you can use a smooth cutting board or a special mat made for this purpose. Using a floured rolling pin (or a floured wine bottle, I don’t judge), shape the dough into a rectangle with the long side nearest you. Continue to roll it, pretty much as large as you can get it, or 12″ x 18″.
  • Brush the rectangle of dough with the 1.5 T of melted butter. Leave a small border at the top. Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough, leaving the same border along the top edge.
  • Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight tube. Roll it so the seam side is down. Using a bench scraper or a serrated knife, slice off the little ends. Then slice into half. Slice each of those halves into half, so you have four equal portions. Then slice each of the four portions into three pieces, so you have 12 rolls.
  • Arrange rolls in the baking dish with the cut sides up (and down). Try to arrange them with the seam facing another roll, so those ends don’t get too crunchy when they bake.
  • Cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight.
  • The next day: Microwave a large Pyrex filled with water until the water boils, and then move it your oven, which should be off, on a law rack. Remove the rolls from the refrigerator, remove the plastic wrap, and place in the oven above the water. With the oven door closed, let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy, approximately 30 minutes, then remove the rolls and the water from the oven.
  • Preheat the oven to 350. When preheated, place the rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes.
  • Remove the rolls from the oven to cool.
  • While they are cooling, make the frosting: Whisk the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer (or whisk by hand) until smooth and creamy. Add the milk and whisk until combined. Sift in the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Spread over the cooled rolls and serve immediately.

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls - bite

More info please?

I never buy a carton of buttermilk; instead, use skim milk and a fresh lemon. I use a Pyrex measuring glass, and place 1 to 2 tsp of fresh lemon juice in the glass, and then fill it up to 3/4 c with milk.  Let it sit until it curdles and comes to room temperature, about 5-10 minutes.

Original link: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/overnight-cinnamon-rolls-recipe/index.html

Chicken Chowder with Chipotle

3 Nov

Chicken Chowder with Chipotle

The word “chowder” derives from the french word for cauldron: chaudière.  Into that chaudière go the rich ingredients that make a rich, thick, creamy soup, usually headlined with seafood or corn.

Thick creamy soups are not my jam (my arteries whimper just thinking about them), so I was intrigued, and then thrilled, by this recipe that came to me via the lovely SCP. We made this hearty soup for a friend who needed a little help in the kitchen for a while. I am always on the look-out for healthy, easy soup recipes, and this Chicken Chowder with Chipotle is now officially in the rotation. Serve with a loaf of grainy whole wheat bread, and call it an evening!

This recipe uses one 15-oz can of hominy. What is hominy? No one at my local (large, regional chain) grocery store knew either – nor did anyone know where to find it in their own store, even though they carried a store-brand variety! But it was a 20-minute scavenger hunt well-spent – hopefully you will be able to benefit from my (literal) legwork.

So, what is hominy? It is a corn product, that has been soaked in an alkali solution, which removes the hull and germ of the corn and causes the corn kernel to puff up to about twice its normal size. It has the consistency of a garbanzo bean (chickpea) but the taste of corn. When using a can of hominy (note that there is also a dried version, not to be used here), it should be rinsed and drained just like a can of beans.

And where is hominy in your grocery store? Try the canned vegetable aisle; if it’s not there, try the Southern section of the international aisle.

Ingredients:
– 1 chipotle chile, chopped (from a small can of chipotle in adobo sauce)
– 1 T extra virgin olive oil
– 2 medium chopped sweet onions (OR 1 large)
– 1 c chopped carrot
– 1/2 c chopped celery
– 1 t ground cumin
– 1/2 t dried oregano
– 1/2 t dried thyme
– 6 garlic cloves, crushed
– 6 c fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
– 2 medium boneless chicken breasts
– 2 small red potatoes, diced (OR 1 large)
– 1 15-oz can white or golden hominy, rinsed and drained
– 1/4 c whipping cream OR skim milk
– 1 t adobo sauce (from the same can)
– 1 c drained diced tomato
– 1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro

How do I make it?

  • Heat a large dutch oven or soup pot (or chaudière, if you have one) over medium heat. Add the 1 T oil; when heated, add chopped chile, onion, carrot, celery, cumin, oregano, thyme, and garlic. Cook 5 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring frequently.
  • Add just a little broth (about 1/4 c), and as it sizzles, scrape up the herbs and vegetables that have probably browned on the bottom of the pan. Add the rest of the broth and bring to a boil.
  • Add chicken and cover the pot. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through (don’t hesitate to just cut in to it to see if it is white in the thickest part).
  • Remove the pot from the burner.
  • Remove chicken with a fork or slotted spoon, and cool slightly. Shred chicken with 2 forks, or chop finely, and keep it to the side.
  • Prepare a large bowl – there is going to be a bit of transferring going on.
  • Now we need to blend the soup in 3 or 4 batches. Place one-third (or one quarter – we are not in a hurry here) of broth mixture in a blender or food processor, being careful to not add too much (if you add too much hot liquid, it will kind of implode/explode). Process until smooth. Pour pureed broth mixture into the large bowl.
  • Repeat procedure in two (or three) more batches with remaining broth mixture. Return pureed mixture to the pot, and return the pot to the burner, over medium heat.
  • Stir in the potatoes and hominy and bring to a simmer.
  • Cook, uncovered, 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in chicken and cream (or milk); simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in the reserved adobo sauce, tomatoes, and cilantro.

More info please?

I recommend adding a third chicken breast at the cooking stage, and removing it for later use, either on a salad, or in a stir fry, or in a chicken salad. Or any other way you would use chicken. This is a great, easy method to add some flavor, and will save you cooking time later!

Original link: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chupe-de-pollo-con-chipotle-chicken-chowder-with-chipotle-10000000833307/

Chicken Tortilla Soup

12 Oct

Chicken Tortilla Soup-5

The primary reason I started this blog was to catalog my tried and true recipes – those in my repertoire that I make with some frequency, but still can never quite seem to put my hands on when I have a craving for them.

This Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe may have been one of the first soups I ever made, and when I was learning to cook it was so satisfying to combine the ingredients and end up with this awesome creation. Now that I know how to cook, it is mostly just satisfying to eat – which of course, is not at all a bad thing – but it always brings back great memories from over the years, when this soup was shared with friends, or thrown together after an exhausting day, or simmered on a cold rainy night and sipped on the couch in front of catch-up DVR (like tonight).

It has all the hallmarks of a solid go-to soup recipe. It is an easy one – there is no blending involved; it is a healthy one – all fresh ingredients and no cream; and it is a comforting one – like most non-fussy soups are. And you can’t beat the bright colors for visual appeal!

Chicken Tortilla Soup-4

Ingredients:
– 3 corn tortillas
– 1 sweet onion, diced
– 6 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 bunch of cilantro (about 1/4 c), chopped
– 2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
– 4 – 8 c chicken broth or stock {it’s up to you, depending on the size of your pot and how thick you like your soup}
– 1 c canned or frozen corn
– 1 T cumin
– 1 T chili powder
– 4 bay leaves
– 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
– 1/2 t cayenne pepper

How do I make it?

  • Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. When warm, add extra virgin olive oil and saute the onion until is softens and starts to brown. Then add the garlic and cook until it starts to brown and smell fragrant. Tear or chop 3 corn tortillas into bite size pieces and add to the pot.
  • Add the chopped cilantro and add it to the pot {reserve a bit to serve with the completed soup}. Then add the tomatoes with their juice, and the chicken stock, cumin, chili powder, and bay leaves. Bring the soup to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer and add the corn, whole chicken breasts, and cayenne.
  • Simmer for 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken breasts and put aside to cool.
  • Once the chicken is cool, shred it with two forks, or chop it into small pieces, and return it to the soup pot.
  • Serving suggestions: fried tortilla strips, diced avocado, additional cilantro.

Original link: Well, this is not the original link, as I first found this recipe almost 7 years ago and the post in the following link is dated 2012, but it is word for word from the pdf I have saved on my computer … http://reluctantgourmet.com/education/culinary-career-path/item/135-tortilla-soup-recipe

If you like this, you may also like:

Southwest Quinoa BowlSweet Potato & Quinoa Chili

 

 

 

 

Serve with:

Tortilla Chips