Sunday, December 4, 2011

Spiced Pork Chops with Butternut Squash

Butternut Porkchop


Like virtually every other family in existence, from time to time we get stuck in a big dinner rut. Tacos, pasta, chicken, lather, rinse, repeat. So recently I decided that it was time to break the streak and make something new and different for dinner. I pulled out cookbooks and cooking magazine and started to label recipes that looked good. I surprised even myself by marking and eventually selecting this recipe as the winning newcomer to the dinner repertoire. You see, pork, and pork chops especially, have never been my favorite thing. Bad pork chops are just sooo bad. Dry, flavorless and just plain gross. Turns out, that’s only when they’re overcooked with a stinky recipe (light bulb, right?). These came out perfectly. So flavorful and juicy and lovely and the sweet butternut squash combined with the cinnamon and cloves just screamed fall.

Spiced Pork Chops with Butternut Squash
Serves 4

printable recipe

4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops (about 3/4 inch thick)
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 butternut squash (about 1 1/4 lbs)
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

Coat a large skillet with cooking spray. Sprinkle both sides of the pork chops evenly with pumpkin pie spice, black pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt.

Sauté the pork in the skillet for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Remove from the pan and keep warm.

Meanwhile, poke several holes in the butternut squash with a fork and cook in the microwave for 1 minute, then using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin. Cut the squash in half, scoop out the inside and seeds and discard. Cut the squash into 1 inch cubes.

Re-coat the skillet with cooking spray and add the squash, cooking covered for 7 minutes. Add onion to the pan and sauté the squash and onions for 5 minutes. Pour the water into the pan, scrapping the bottom of the pan to loosen the browned bits. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon salt and chopped mint.

Serve pork with squash spooned on top.

Source: Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast Weeknight Meals

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Healthy(er) Macaroni and Cheese with Cauliflower

macaroni and cheese with cauliflower

I’m sure it’ll come as no surprise to you, since we’re a house with 2 young children, to hear that we eat our fair share of mac & cheese around here. It’s tasty, it’s quick…but not super healthy most of the time. So, when I came across this recipe for a healthier version of our beloved favorite I couldn’t wait to try it. Now, I’m not usually down for the whole “sneak the veggies in so the kids don’t notice” thing. So I didn’t. I did big chopped hunks of cauliflower along with the pasta and served it. And it was a hit! There was even a request for larger cauliflower chunks next time. (Granted, that came from Brian, but still. A win is a win!) This is now the reigning M&C recipe in the house.

Won’t Make Your Jeans Snug Macaroni & Cheese with Cauliflower
serves 6 (HUGE servings)
Print This Recipe

12 oz. whole grain elbow macaroni
1 large head of cauliflower, coarsely chopped
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and pepper
1 medium onion, diced
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups light sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 400.

Cook the pasta according to package directions. During the last 3 minutes of cooking add the chopped cauliflower and drain.

In a food processor or small bowl combine the bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Set aside.

In an oven-proof pot or Dutch oven on the stove top heat the last tablespoon of oil. Sauté the onion until it is tender. Add in 3/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, cheese, sour cream, milk, and mustard and combine. Stir in the pasta and cauliflower.

Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the top of the macaroni and bake, uncovered, for 12-15 minutes or until the top is golden brown and cheese is melted.

Source: Carrots ‘N’ Cake

Monday, September 19, 2011

Spinach and Tomato Orzotto

spinach tomato orzotto
I have had this idea in the back of my mind for a long time now to print and frame or mount a few of my favorite food photos to hang above my dining room table. I have it all laid out in my head but I hadn’t gotten any further than that. Then, to my great fortune, a few weeks ago the kind folks at Easy Canvas Prints offered to send me one of my photos canvas mounted! I, of course, jumped at the chance!
canvas print
The canvas came out perfect. It was super-easy and quick to upload my photo to their site and place the order, and it arrived just a few days later. I love it so much I am already trying to decide on what other food photos to pick to place around it!
Now, onto this orzotto. I’ve also had the idea for this in my head for quite some time. I love risotto. I love orzo. So every time I made one or the other I kept wondering what would come of it if I combined the two ideas. Cooking the pasta in a similar style to cooking risotto, I made it up as I went along and was thrilled when it turned out better than I had expected. Simple, easy, delicious. You can’t beat that.
Spinach and Tomato Orzotto
printable recipe

2 cups orzo pasta
1/2 cup white wine
4 cups chicken broth, warmed
2 Tablespoons butter or olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, diced
2 cups spinach, chopped
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon herbs de province
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
In a small sauce pan over low heat warm the chicken broth. Keep warm.
Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat, then sauté the shallot until it is translucent. Add the garlic to the pan and cook one minute further.
Add the orzo to the pan and stir to coat the pasta, then pour the wine into the pan and stir to deglaze. Simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed, then add 3/4 cup of the broth. Continue to add the broth 3/4 cup at a time, letting most of the liquid absorb between each addition, until the pasta is slightly softer than al dente, adding the spinach to the pan with the last liquid addition.
Add the tomatoes and herbs de province and cook for one minute further. Remove from heat and stir in the parmesan. Sprinkle with additional grated parmesan to serve.
Source: A Laura’s Recipe Collection Original

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Blueberry Buttercream Cupcakes

Blueberry Cupcake
A few weeks months ago my baby turned 2. As we were planning her birthday party I sat on the couch with her and flipped through recipes for cupcakes, trying to pick one or two to make. She climbed into my lap as I leafed from page to page, then suddenly jumped and squealed “BLUEBERRIES!”. If a girl could actually scream in all caps, this would have been one of those times. She loves blueberries. LOVES blueberries. As in we have to actually police the amount she eats of them because otherwise she will eat herself sick. (That was not a fun day.)
So, being that blueberries are basically her favorite thing everEverEVER I decided to make my faithful vanilla cupcake recipe, add blueberries, and concoct blueberry buttercream. The resulting cupcake was just what I was looking for. The vanilla cupcake was just light enough to let the sweet, tart blueberries really shine.

Blueberry Cupcakes with Blueberry Buttercream Frosting
yields 12 cupcakes
printable recipe
Blueberry Cupcakes
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
zest of 1 medium lemon
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed

Pre-heat oven to 350. Prepare a muffin pan with liners and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating to combine between each addition. Mix in the lemon zest and vanilla.
In a medium bowl stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.
With the mix speed on low add half of the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Pour the milk into the bowl and beat to combine, then mix in the remaining flour.
Using a rubber spatula gently fold the blueberries into the batter, then scoop evenly between the muffin cups.
Bake for 17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Blueberry Buttercream Frosting
1/4 cup blueberry puree (about 1 cup fresh blueberries)
2-3 Tablespoons blueberry juice, yielded from blueberry puree
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
pinch of salt
5-6 cups confectioners sugar

In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter until smooth.
Add the blueberry puree, juice, vanilla, lemon and salt into the bowl and beat until well combined.
Slowly add the confectioners sugar, one cup at a time, until frosting is light and fluffy.
Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.

Sources: Vanilla Cupcake recipe adapted from my Raspberry-filled Vanilla Bean Cupcakes, originally from The Novice Chef , Blueberry Buttercream from Baking With Basil

Monday, May 30, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu Burgers with Creamy Parmesan Sauce

Leave it to me to take a relatively healthy concept like a chicken burger and do this to it. And in advance, you’re welcome!

By a long shot the most-viewed recipe on here is Chicken Cordon Bleu with Creamy Parmesan Sauce. And rightly so. It’s one of my favorite dinners. Relatively easy to put together and delicious. The highlight of the recipe? The sauce. Sure, the chicken itself is great. But the sauce. Oh the sauce. It, in my opinion, is the food symbol for all that is good in the world. Trust me on this one.

So a few months ago, while making chicken burgers I had the idea of adding the sauce to the burger. A few days later this gem was born. The flavor of chicken cordon bleu with half the prep work involved. I love when I can have dinner prepped and cooked in 20 minutes. I love even more when I have an excuse to use heavy cream and cheese.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Burgers & Creamy Parmesan Sauceprintable recipe
Serves 4

Chicken Cordon Bleu Burger
1 lb. ground chicken
1/2 lb. thinly sliced deli ham, cut into 1/2 inch squares
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
burger buns for serving

In a large bowl mix together the ground chicken, ham, cheese, thyme and garlic. Gradually add the bread crumbs until the mixture is well-combined.

Shape into four patties. If the mixture is sticking to your hands rinse your hands under cold water between each patty.

Cook on a grill, a pan or broiler until no longer pink in the center.

Source: An original Laura’s Recipe Collection creation

Creamy Parmesan Sauce
1 tablespoon butter
1-2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1/2-3/4 C half-and-half or heavy cream
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup white wine
salt & pepper
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese


Melt the butter in a small sauce pan, then sauté the garlic for a minute or two. Add in the and continue to simmer for another 1-2 minutes.

Whisk together the half-and-half with the cornstarch. Slowly pour into the sauce pan and mix until it is smooth and thickened.

Add the cheese, salt and pepper to the sauce pan and cook until melted.

Drizzle the sauce over the breasts just before serving.

Originally posted under Chicken Cordon Bleu with Creamy Parmesan Sauce, Source: Mary Ellen’s Cooking Creations

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lemon Blueberry Scones

Blueberry Lemon Scones

I must be really, really ready for spring. Absolutely everything I’m making right now is light, fluffy and blueberry filled. Blueberry ice cream? Check! Blueberry pancakes for dinner? Check! Blueberry lemon scones! Check! (obviously, right?) You see, in Michigan the weather is a bit unpredictable and our winter is very, very long. So come April I’m ready for some sunny days and the fresh produce at the farmers market. But until that comes, I make due with cloudy, rainy- or wait is it snowing again?- weather and frozen berries and those daydreams of sunny days.

And P.S.? As I write this it is currently hailing pea sized hail. Spring! Come save me! PLEASE!

Lemon Blueberry Scones
printable recipe

For the scones
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1/2 cup fresh or frozen (not thawed) blueberries
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon lemon zest

Place an oven rack at the middle setting. Preheat the oven to 425.

Blend the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

Using a pasty cutter, or two knives, cut the butter and lemon zest into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse sand. A few larger butter lumps will remain. Add the blueberries and gently fold with a spatula to evenly distribute the berries.

Add in the heavy cream and stir gently until well combined.

Gently fold the dough into a slightly sticky ball. Roll out into a disc 3/4 inch thick. Slice into 8 wedges and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the scones are lightly golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

For the glaze
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup confectioners sugar

Stir together the lemon juice and confectioners sugar in a small bowl until smooth. Spread or drizzle over the still-warm scones.

Sources: Scones adapted from Baking Illustrated, glaze from Baking Bites

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Oatmeal Flax Bread

Oatmeal Flax Bread

I have to admit, when I pulled this loaf from the oven I was skeptical. I’m not sure what about it made me leery. It smelled delicious. The golden wheat color was beautiful, and… I mean, it’s bread! What is there not to love? But still, I was cautious. Perhaps it was the dark seeds that looked a little funky?

Alas, when I cut into this bread and took a bite, all my doubts were vanished immediately. This now is in the top 5 on my list of favorite breads, and believe me that’s not an easy spot to take. Sweet, but not too sweet, wheaty without being too dense or heavy, it was the perfect sandwich bread. Or if we’re being more honest, the perfect Eating-Strait-From-the-Oven-With-Butter bread.

One Year Ago
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Two Years Ago
Rich, Thick & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Flax Bread
printable recipe

1 cup bread flour
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast

Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in a warm area for 12-16 hours.

Final Dough
The preferment
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups bread flour
1 cup rolled oats
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Pour the water into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add in the oats and flax, stir to combine and let soak for 10 minutes.

Add in the remaining ingredients and mix on low speed until well combined. Using the dough hook knead the dough until elastic, but not gooey. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, lightly covered with plastic wrap, to let rise for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, fold the dough a few times, re-cover and let rise for another hour.

Shape the dough into either a loaf pan or free-standing loaf placed on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Lightly dust the loaf with flour. Re-cover with plastic wrap and rise for an additional 1 1/2 hours. After the first hour pre-heat the oven to 400.

Using a sharp knife slash the top of the loaf down the center.

Just before placing the loaf in the oven, splash a bit of water on the bottom and sides of oven to create steam. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown and the center of the loaf reads 190.

Cool on a wire rack and serve.

Source: Kath Eats Real Food

Submitted to YeastSpotting

Monday, March 21, 2011

Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream

blueberry sour cream ice cream 3

Every summer when my family’s blueberry farm opens for business (and believe me, I am counting the days!) the first thing I look forward to doing is eating those enormous, sweet, delicious berries fresh from the bush. The second is eating a enormous, sweet, delicious cone of home churned blueberry ice cream they make at the farm. It is pure, creamy and wonderful. Smooth save the lone whole berry straggler here and there. This last fall, shortly after I finished the last of the farm-churned ice cream I had a wave of longing for the flavor of summer & family tradition. I started flipping through cookbook after cookbook looking for a recipe that might come close to the wonderful ice cream I was used to. Finally I came across this ice cream recipe. While it’s not a replica of the farm’s ice cream (I’m guessing that’s a closely guarded secret- dang it!) it was enough to tide me over until July when blueberry season rolls around here again. The sour cream gives it just the tiniest bit of tang and the berries give the ice cream that gorgeous purple color.

blueberry sour cream ice cream 2

One Year AgoCherry Pecan Oatmeal Cookie Bars

Two Years AgoSoft-Yet-Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies

Other Favorite Ice Cream RecipesPeanut Butter (and Jelly!) Ice Cream

Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Creamprintable recipe
makes 1 quart

1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, thaw and drain before using)
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
grated zest and juice of 1/4 lemon
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup sour cream

Directions:In a medium sauce pan bring the blueberries, sugar, salt, lemon zest and lemon juice to a boil. When the mixture is boiling and the berries burst, about 3 minutes, remove from heat.

Pour the mixture into a blender and puree until relatively smooth (it will never be completely smooth). Pour the heavy cream and sour cream into the blender and mix until combined.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl and chill completely in the refrigerator.

Pour into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacture instructions.

Freeze in an air tight container.

Source: Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Detroit Coney Dogs

Detroit Coney Dog

I was at work chatting with some co-workers about our dinner plans. I explained that, at my husband’s request, I was going to attempt a Detroit style Coney Dog. “Detroit or Flint style?” one of them asked, while another nodded knowingly. “Ummm… yes?” was my ever-intelligent response. Despite having lived in Michigan for most of my life I have actually never had an authentic Detroit Coney dog (unless you count one from a chain restaurant in the Detroit airport during a layover on our honeymoon. And since it was less than delicious I won’t count it, so neither should you. Glad we settled that.) And I certainly have never had a Flint Coney dog. My one and only foray in to Flint, Michigan involved getting lost in what I can only describe as the ghetto, running out of gas, then my mom driving the wrong way on a one way street. Needless to say we didn’t exactly stop for dinner and chill after all of that.

From what I understand from my Mo-Town friends, this is a pretty authentic replica of a Motor City Coney dog. Apparently to make it even more authentic you can use a bit of ground up beef heart in place of some of the beef. In this case I’m ok with lacking a smidge of authenticity.

What I do know is that this beats the pants off any chili dog, Coney dog or just plain ole hot dog I’ve ever had. Slightly spicy and very hearty, it’s a definite Man-Food that this girl downright loved. Mo-Town rocks again.

One Year AgoWhite Wine Chicken with Mushrooms

Two Years AgoChewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Detroit-Style Coney Dogs
printable recipe
yields enough sauce for about 12 dogs

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups beef broth
4 ounces tomato paste
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco

Mix the chili powder, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, oregano, salt & pepper together in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a large skillet, brown the beef, chopping with a spatula to break into very small pieces. Add the onion and red pepper and sauté until the beef is browned and the onions and peppers are softened. Strain the beef mixture retaining 3 tablespoons of the fat, draining the rest.

Whisk the remaining beef fat with the flour to make a roux, stirring until golden. Stir in the beef broth, tomato paste and cider vinegar.

Add the beef back into the pot and stir together. Stir the seasonings into the pan and mix until combined. Let simmer for 15 minutes to an hour.

Serve over a hot dog in a bun. Traditionally served with chopped onion and mustard. Ever better if served with bottle of Vernors ginger ale!


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Strawberry Crumb Bars

strawberry crumb bars

If I’m good for one thing, it’s finding a way to justify sinful foods. Ice cream? Calcium. Oatmeal cookie? Fiber! And raisins. It’s practically breakfast. Cake? Duh. It’s cake. Enough said.

I’m great at taking a healthy food concept and turning it upside down into a kick ass butt dessert. For instance, this jar of preserves I was given at work a few weeks ago (My company has this awesome program where each month they partner with a local farm/store and provide every employee with a locally grown food item. It’s awesome. Especially when my co-workers give me their shares too. Bonus!) Along with this jar came a delicious-sounding healthy recipe for something like salad dressing.

Naturally I opened the jar and dipped my finger in to taste it immediately upon arriving at home (wouldn’t you?). My husband proclaimed this awesome jar of preserves was begging to be made into the best PB&J ever. Rebecca decided it was made for toast. Me? I, of course, went strait for the dessert option.

A very small part of me felt bad for not making a healthy recipe, as is the intention of giving us local foods. Then I got over it and ate a 2nd bar.

raspberry crumb bars 2

One Year AgoMushroom Risotto

Two Years AgoSesame Chicken

Strawberry Crumb Bars

printable recipe

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (or almonds or walnuts)
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 12 pieces
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup strawberry preserves

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x9 glass pan with parchment paper, leaving enough paper to hang over the edges slightly. Lightly spray the parchment with spray oil.

In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the flour, oats, sugars, baking soda, salt and nuts.

With the mixer on low speed, add the butter and vanilla and beat until well-combined. The mixture should look a bit like wet sand.

Press two-thirds of the batter into the prepared pan. Make sure it spreads evenly to the edges and corners of the pan.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until just golden. Remove from the oven and spread the preserves evenly over the top of the crust.

Sprinkle the remaining dough on top of the preserves and bake, rotating the pan 180* half-way through the baking time, for an additional 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool completely on a wire rack. To remove from the pan pull up gently on the parchment paper flaps. Slice into squares.

Source: Slightly adapted from Baking Illustrated

Monday, January 31, 2011

Double Berry Muffins

double berry muffin

The very first time I made these muffins, intending on only making a great blueberry muffin, I hit a bit of a bump in the road. I was measuring out the blueberries and got to the bottom of the bag (I always use frozen. I live in Michigan and the fresh berry season is depressingly short, and I’m not about to fork out $10 for imported “fresh” berries to put in muffins. Plus? Handy. They’re always in the freezer when I need them.) when suddenly the bag was empty and my measuring cup was not yet full. Sorting through the freezer I didn’t find any other blueberries (Ok, so maybe they’re not always on hand) but I did come up with a bag of raspberries. Shrugging and hoping for the best I topped off the measuring cup with raspberries and mixed them in. I waited patiently for the muffins to cool the requisite amount without burning the living crap out of my mouth a few seconds before giving them a taste. Heaven. Something about the combination of the blueberry and the raspberry make these soar. And I’m not one to be stingy with berries. A berry for every bite!

The thing I like most about these is that, at least for me, the ingredients are all things I have on hand all the time. And if not, change it up! Don’t have raspberries? Do only blueberries? Only have raspberries? Ditto! Don’t have either berry, only have turnips? Well… you might want to think about making something else for now. And if you don’t have buttermilk, make your own “butter”milk. Put a cup of milk in a small bowl. Remove a tablespoon of the milk and add a tablespoon of white vinegar. Stir it around a bit and let sit for about 5 minutes or until it is thickened. Ta-da! Instant buttermilk!

Double Berry (blueberry & raspberry) Coffee Cake Muffins
printable recipe
makes 24 muffins

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups each, frozen blueberries and raspberries.

Directions:Prepare 2 muffin pans with paper liners and set aside. Pre-heat oven to 350.

In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the vanilla, buttermilk & Greek yogurt to the bowl and beat to combine until smooth.

In a medium bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually mix into the butter mixture until just combined.

Using a rubber spatula gently stir the frozen berries into the batter until evenly dispersed. Quickly scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let cool in the pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Gently lift the muffins from the pans and place back on the wire rack to let cool completely.

Source: Laura’s Recipe Collection original

Monday, January 24, 2011

Baked Potato Soup

baked potato soup

I’ve made a few different potato soups in the past, all of them good. But for some reason when I wandered across this recipe when browsing Pennies on a Platter I just couldn’t get it out of my mind. A few days after finding this recipe I made it for dinner and let me tell you it was Heaven-sent, in so many ways. First, of course, it was delicious. But a very close second: It was super fast and easy to put together.

The night I had this scheduled I was running a bit behind schedule getting home from work and was feeling a bit frantic. I called Brian and asked him to chop some potatoes for me, and beyond that I’d deal when I got home. Maybe our kids could eat PB&J that night since there was no way soup would be done before they needed to get to bed. Right?

Wrong! About 20 minutes after I got home and got started dinner was sitting merrily on the table. Madeline, in between painting her high chair with it and giving herself a facial with it, ate almost as much soup as Brian or I did. Rebecca, confessed hater of all things potato (including French Fries. Somehow I gave birth to a child that hates French fries. Someone do DNA testing, STAT!) took her required taste and declared that she didn’t hate it. She didn’t spit it out, she didn’t complain. I’ll call that a win.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup
printable recipe

2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup flour
7 cups milk
4 large baking potatoes, baked, peeled and cubed (about 4 cups)
4 green onions, sliced, plus more for garnish
12 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon pepper, plus more for seasoning

Melt the butter in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Stir the flour with the butter mixing until smooth. Pour the milk into the pot and stir until thick, about 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and onions to the pot and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Stir in the cheese, sour cream, bacon, salt and pepper until cheese is melted and combined.

Garnish with additional bacon, sour cream and green onion if desired. Serve

Source: Pennies on a Platter

Friday, January 21, 2011

Cheeseburger Macaroni

cheeseburger macaroni

I firmly believe every busy mom needs to have a few dinnertime tricks up her sleeve. This, dear friends, is one of mine. It’s quick, it’s simple, and it’s pretty tasty. A great weeknight dinner that my kids devour.

Sure, it’s not exactly Beef Wellington, but who says every night has to be fine dining. We can slum it with hot dogs like the best of ‘em. I kid, of course, about the slumming thing. Sometimes hot dogs just rule.

Cheeseburger Pastaprintable recipe
serves 4-6

1 pound lean ground beef (this would be great with ground turkey also)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoon butter or Olive Oil
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup chicken or beef broth
1/2 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
8 ounces dry pasta shape of your choosing

Sauté the onion in the butter until soft and translucent. Add the beef to the pan and brown, chopping into small pieces as it cooks.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions and drain.

Once the beef is cooked through add the chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, pepper and flour to the pan. Mix to combine well. Pour the broth into the pan and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the broth has reduced by half and is starting to thicken slightly.

Turn off the heat and add the milk and cheese to the pan, stirring to melt the cheese and combine evenly.

Mix the sauce with the pasta and serve!

Source: What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen