Archive | May, 2012

Spicy Summer Squash Soup

30 May

Prepped this last night right before we headed to the climbing gym, and it was good and ready when we got home (allowed the soup to boil and then took it off heat while away so we wouldn’t burn down the house)… This recipe has about 120 calories in each bowl, and is chopped full of stuff that is good for you!

I’ve been making this recipe since right after college, and it remains one of my favorite ones. All it requires is a bunch of chopping, and is so rich and tasty!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • chopped or roasted garlic
  • 1 onion, chopped into medium chunks
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 zucchinis and 2 yellow squashes, chopped
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • ~ 2 c. of stock (veg or chicken both work fine)
  • ample dashes of cayenne pepper
  • fresh basil or thyme, or dried herbs
  • grated cheddar or other cheese

Method

  • In large pot, sautée onions in olive oil
  • When brown, add tomatoes– give it about 2 minutes
  • Add in zucchini, squash, and potatoes– let steam for another few minutes, stirring
  • Add in stock and cayenne (and salt & pepper to taste) and let simmer, covered, about 20-25 min, or until you can stick a fork through one of the potato chunks
  • Throw in basil after done cooking, serve with cheese on top– enjoy!

Double Chocolate Muffins

28 May

This is another one for my father-in-law, who loves chocolate. But really also for me. Also, I made some changes to the recipe that make it super healthy. Or as healthy as can reasonably be expected. This were super-moist and very chocolatey. Each is about 105 calories!

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 c oats
  • 2/3 c cocoa powder
  • 1/2 c unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c plain greek yogurt (fat-free)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 c hot water
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 1/3 c sucralose sugar blend sweetener
  • 1/2 – 3/4 c chocolate chips

Method

  • Preheat to 350. In a food processor, blend all ingredient but choco chips. Blend until oats and everything are very smooth.
  • Place mixture in a bowl and stir in choco chips. Scoop mixture into silicone muffin cups or greased muffin tins. Bake for ~15 min. Deeeeeelicious.

Thai Peanut Ice Cream

27 May

Um, yes. It is summer. And summer demands ice cream. And since I covet anything peanut butter, it did seem like an excellent place to start.

Ingredients

  • 1 c skim milk
  • 1 c coconut milk (I used SoDelicious)
  • 1/2 c cream
  • 2/3 c sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 shakes cayenne (3 or 4 if you like it spicier!)
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1.5 tbsp corn syrup
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1/3 c creamy peanut butter

Method

  • Stir together 1/3 c milk and cornstarch, set slurry aside.
  • In a medium sauce pan, whisk together remaining milk, coconut milk, cream, spices, sugar, salt, and syrup. Bring to a boil over med-high heat, cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly, then stir in slurry, stirring until thickened. (Add more cornstarch-milk-slurry if it’s not getting thick)
  • Put peanut butter and cream cheese in a metal bowl and pour in some of the hot milk mixture, whisking until super smooth. Then pour in remaining mixture and whisk until smooth.
  • Submerge bowl in an ice water bath. Once cool, use ice cream maker to process.
  • Peanut creamy goodness will ensue. I promise.

Cheddar Sweet Corn Scones

27 May

Mmmm, love love love scones. But wanted something a little more savory than sweet right now. We had a smidge of steamed sweet corn leftover from dinner 2 nights ago, and a little brick of cheddar as well… Right on!

Ingredients

  • 2 c flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 oz cheddar, grated
  • 1/3 c steamed sweet corn (cut off the cob of course)
  • 2 tbsp chopped scallion onions
  • 1/4 c cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 c skim milk

Method

  • Preheat to 425. Whisk all dry ingredients together. Add cut butter and crumble into flour mixture with hands– until mixture is in tiny pea-crumbles. Stir in cheese and corn.
  • Add milk and mix in with hands. (Add a bit more milk if it is still too dry)
  • Once you have a good dough-like consistency, turn out onto floured surface. Pat down to a thin rectangle. Cut into triangles with a knife and bake on a silpat (or parchment paper) for ~15 min, or until golden brown.

Deep Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

27 May

This is a recipe for my father-in-law. He is a thorough chocoholic, with no pretensions of anything else. If a sweet has no dark chocolate component, it has no allure for him. My in-laws are visiting and I felt this a perfect time to try this recipe. I adapted it to make it even more chocolatey.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 c milk
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp cream cheese
  • 3 oz excellent dark chocolate
  • 1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 c brewed coffee

Method

  • Stir together 1/4 c milk and cornstarch, set slurry aside.
  • In a medium sauce pan, whisk together remaining milk, cream, 1/2 c sugar, salt, and syrup. Bring to a boil over med-high heat, cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly, then stir in slurry, stirring until thickened.
  • Put cream cheese in a metal bowl and pour in some of the hot milk mixture, whisking until super smooth. Then pour in remaining mixture and whisk.
  • In a small sauce pan, heat cocoa powder, remaining sugar, and coffee. Bring to a boil. Then take off heat and add dark chocolate, melting and mixing.
  • Once smooth, add chocolate syrup to milk mixture, stirring. Submerge bowl in an ice water bath. Once cool, use ice cream maker to process (don’t discard ice water bath yet!).

Sweet Corn and Blackberry Ice Cream

21 May

It was so hot yesterday! After spending some much needed pool time, we came inside and somehow it was time to try out another ice cream. This time (due to freezer capacity constraints) we made a half-recipe’s worth, but kept the corn flavor as is. Corn flavor is so subtle, so delicate, that you might even want to leave the corn sitting in milk overnight to really infuse it more richly. We also started with this recipe, but adapted to get more corn flavor bodies.

Ingredients

  • 1 c milk
  • 4 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 ear corn
  • 2/3 c heavy cream
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1/2 c blackberries
  • 1/4 c sugar

Method

  • Stir together 1/4 c milk and cornstarch, set slurry aside.
  • Cut kernels off corn cob, and cut cob into 4 chunks. In a medium sauce pan, whisk together remaining milk, cream, sugar, salt, syrup, kernels, and cob. Bring to a boil over med-high heat. Cook for 3-5 min. Take cobs out.
  • Pour everything into a blender and blend until sort of smooth. Pour back into saucepan. Bring to a light boil again, and stir in slurry, stirring until thickened. Pour mixture through a strainer into a bowl and discard corn solids.
  • Put cream cheese in a metal bowl and pour in some of the hot milk mixture, whisking until smoother. Then pour in remaining mixture and whisk. Submerge bowl in an ice water bath.
  • Once cool, use ice cream maker to process (don’t discard ice water bath yet!).
  • Combine blackberries and sugar in in small sauce pan over med-high heat, cooking and stirring until thick. Strain and pour into metal bowl, and submerge into ice bath.
  • After ice cream is ready, alternate layers of ice cream and berry sauce in storage container before freezing.

Golden Beet Orange and Honey Ice Cream with Black Sesame Seeds

20 May

Last weekend, Kimberly had us over to celebrate her birthday, and plied us with some amazing ice creams recipes from Jeni (of Columbus, OH I think)– cardamom saffron was my personal favorite! So I shopped around and ended up adapting Jeni’s beet ice cream recipe to suit my needs– golden beets and honey, and black sesame for flavor and crunch instead of poppy seeds.

Ingredients

  • 2 c whole milk
  • 6 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 c heavy cream
  • 2/3 c sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • peel of 1 orange
  • 3 tbsp reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 c pureed roasted golden beets
  • 3 tbsp black sesame seeds

Method

  • In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 c milk and cornstarch– set slurry aside.
  • In a large sauce pan, whisk together remaining milk, cream, sugar, salt, syrup, and honey. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add orange peel (in big chunks). Cook for 4 min, then stir in slurry. Return to a boil and cook, whisk frequently until thickened (4-5 min).
  • Place cream cheese in a bowl and pour in 1/2 c of the hot milk mixture, whisking until smooth. Then whisk in remaining milk mixture. Pour mixture into a metal bowl and submerge in a bowl of ice water until cool.
  • Remove orange peel (or don’t, because it is actually super tasty!) and add pureed beets. Pour mixture into ice cream maker and process according to the maker’s instructions. Add sesame seeds during last few minutes of churning, and top with more seeds if you’d like!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream

18 May

A little pre-birthday evening of eating with Rafe and Danielle… Made tasty Vietnamese spring rolls with crispy tofu and savory peanut sauce.

I recognize that cupcakes really don’t belong in this dinner theme, but since I love them so very much, I decided to continue the peanut vein.

These were very easy and very tasty, and I would make the buttercream again (especially as I literally finished off every little scraping of the leftover frosting).

This is a half recipe– for 6 cupcakes!

Cupcake Ingredients

  • 3/4 c flour (I used half whole wheat flour and regular flour)
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 3 heaping tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2.5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp pomegranate vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 1/2 c water

Cupcake Method

  • Preheat to 350, [if you’re me] get your silicone muffin cups ready (or paper liners!).
  • Whisk together flours, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Stir in oil, vanilla, pom vinegar, and water and mix until there are no lumps. Pour into liners (fill ~3/4 the way) and bake for ~30 min. Allow to cool before frosting.

Peanut Butter Buttercream Ingredients

  • 1.5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp almond milk

Peanut Butter Buttercream Method

  • With an electric beater, beat butter and peanut butter together. Slowly add powdered sugar, adding almond milk to thin out the frosting a bit if you need to.
  • If you have any buttercream left over after you frost the cupcakes, please invite me over!

Cranberry Almond Biscotti

13 May

I don’t know how it happened, but I have become a coffee drinker. I think there is something about the ungodly hour I get into work these days, or the minimal amount of sleep I’m usually running on, that almost requires it. In any case, I thought it might be nice to make biscotti, a little treat to dunk into my coffee… And this worked out great! Hilariously, the last time I tried to make biscotti (pumpkin biscotti), I didn’t twice bake them, and they were way too soft. So this time, I went for crunchy-style by twice baking.

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 c white flour
  • 1/2 c whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 tbsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/2 c craisins
  • 2/3 c almond slivers

Method

  • Preheat to 325. Whisk dry ingredients together in medium bowl. Whisk together eggs, egg whites, and extracts together in a separate mixing bowl. Add wet to dry ingredients, but not overmixing, using an electric mixer.
  • Stir in cranberries and almond slivers.
  • Flour a flat surface. Divide dough in half and form each half into a rectangular log a little more than an inch high and ~10 inches long. Place each on cookie sheet and bake for 30 min.
  • Reduce oven to 300. Cut biscotti into 1/2 inch slices and stand upright on cookie sheet and bake for another 20 min. Let cool, store, and try not to eat them all with your first pot of coffee.

Lime Poppy Muffins/Cupcakes

13 May

Mmmm, so what do you do when you intend to make lemon poppy muffins, but realize all too late that you don’t have any lemons? Make LIME poppy muffins! And the major realization of the day is that lime poppy muffins areway better anyway.

I used the silicone muffin cups that I just got as an early birthday present (so useful!!). I was psyched to see how they fared, and they were amazing. SO non-stick, the muffins just dropped right out of them.

You could definitely add a little coconut flake in here if you want more of the lime-coconut flavor.

Also, I am not really sure what about it makes them muffins versus cupcakes. They have an amazing, moist consistency, so are they cupcakes? But they don’t need frosting, so are they muffins?

This recipe will make a half-recipe, so budget for ~7 muffins.

Ingredients

  • 1 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 3-4 tbsp splenda blend sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • zest of 2 limes
  • 1/3 c lime juice
  • 1/4 c coconut milk (SoDelicious or similar, not canned)
  •  1 1/4 tsp poppy seeds

Method

  • Preheat to 375. Line muffin tin with paper liners or use the silicone ones (like I did!)
  • In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, melted butter, lime zest, lime juice, coconut milk and poppy seeds
  • Add wet ingredients to the flour mixture and whisk until just combined and no streaks of flour remain
  • Divide evenly into prepared muffin cups and bake at 375F for 15 min and try not to eat them all in one sitting