Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sundried Tomato and Olive Cheese Spread


Do you need a great appetizer to take to a Super Bowl party this weekend? Or something to round out your party menu? This cheese spread would fit the bill nicely. I really liked it cause it different than most cheese spreads - the tang of sundried tomatoes and feta against the creamy cream cheese really makes it special. I loved this on wheat thins and pretzel thins, but it would be great on any cracker or with crudites as well.

Start by preparing the tomatoes - place some boiling water in a large measuring cup, and add the tomatoes.


Let these sit for about 10 minutes or so to soften. Meanwhile, place the softened cream cheese in a medium bowl and stir it up until it's smooth. Add in the garlic, and onion.


Drain the tomatoes, then chop them up along with the olives. Add them to the cream cheese.


Stir it all up, then gently stir in the feta.


All ready for the party!


You can make this up to 2 days ahead to help blend the flavors. If it's been chilled, let it sit at room temperature for about an hour before serving.

One year ago: Oven Baked Ham and Swiss Sandwiches (another great party idea!)
Two years ago: Pasta with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon
Three years ago: Shrimp Nachos (and yet another great party food!)

Find more great ideas at Full Plate Thursday, Thursday's Treasures, Recipe Box, Foodie Friday, Food on Fridays, Food Glorious Food, Foodie Friday (#2).

Sundried Tomato and Olive Cheese Spread

1 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
2.25 oz. can sliced black olives
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles

Place sun-dried tomatoes in small bowl. Pour enough boiling water over tomatoes to cover. Let tomatoes stand until soft, about 10 minutes. Drain. Pat tomatoes dry and chop finely.

Stir cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth. Mix in garlic, olives, onion and sun-dried tomatoes. Stir in feta. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.)


Monday, January 28, 2013

Asian Chicken Soup


I was feeling a bit under the weather recently and wanted to create a soup similar to what I have had at Asian restaurants - chicken soup with vegetables, and with a kick. This was perfect. I loved the combination of mushrooms and chicken and zucchini, and between the green onions, jalapeno and sriracha, there was a nice bite. If you don't eat it all the first day, it will get a little spicier with time, so be forewarned!

Soak the rice noodles in hot water then cut up the veggies.


Heat the sesame oil in a Dutch oven then add the onions, jalapeno and mushrooms


and saute until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook another 2 minutes. (This recipe is adaptable - if you want to throw in carrots or anything else, feel free!)


Add the chicken (I used leftover Island Chicken!) and stir for a minute or so to warm it up.


Then add the broth,


sriracha


and soy sauce. Let simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavors. To serve, divide the rice noodles between four bowls,


then cover with the soup.


I'll be making this a lot in the future - under the weather or not!

One year ago: Oven Baked Ham and Swiss Sandwiches
Two years ago: Spicy Pasta with Sweet Potatoes
Three years ago: M&M cookies

Get more information at Mangia Monday, Mop it Up Monday, Mix it Up Monday, Melt in your Mouth Monday, Recipe Sharing Monday, On the Menu Monday, Seasonal Inspiration, Tasty Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Tasteful Tuesday, Tuesday Talent Show, Clever Chicks, Hearth and Soul, Cast Party Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Whatcha Whipped Up, What's Cooking Wednesday, Wednesday Extravaganza, Wicked Good Wednesday.

Asian Chicken Soup

1/3 of a 6.25 oz package rice noodles
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. minced jalapeno
1/4 cup green onions
4 oz. button mushrooms, chopped
1 cup grated zucchini
1 cup cooked, chopped chicken
4 cups chicken broth
1 tsp. sriracha sauce
1/2 tsp. soy sauce

Soak rice noodles in hot water for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add jalapeno, onions and mushrooms and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add zucchini and saute for 2 more minutes. Stir in chicken and stir for one minute to warm through.

Add chicken broth, sriracha and soy sauce. Stir well then let simmer for 5 minutes to blend flavors. Divide rice noodles between four bowls, then cover with the soup.

Serves 4.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Flourless Banana Muffins


I love trying new varieties of muffins. These are a unique take on banana muffins, using no flour but full of goodness from the oats, yogurt and of course, banana. They come together in a snap - just throw all the ingredients in a blender, blend away, and then bake!

Well, I just gave you the instructions, but I'll repeat myself. I used a food processor for this, but you can use either a blender or a processor. Combine the eggs, baking powder, baking soda, bananas, yogurt,


sugar,


and oats.


Blend until combined, then pour into greased muffin cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

One year ago: Pear Custard Bars
Two years ago: Sausage Pumpkin Pasta
Three years ago: Baba Ghanoush

Find more inspiration at Full Plate Thursday and Thursday's Treasures.

Flourless Banana Muffins

2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 - 6 oz. carton plain (or vanilla) greek yogurt
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 bananas

Place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor, and blend until oats are smooth. Divide batter among greased muffin cups, and bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cranberry Orange Cream Scones


I do love scones. They are so delicious, and not too difficult to make. The key to remember is that, like any pastry, you must not overwork the dough. These are a delicious variety with cranberry and orange, a winning combination in my book. These scones are lovely for a coffee break and go wonderfully with savory breakfast dishes like bacon and egg pie.

I like to use my food processor with the dough blade for pastry. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, and then add the cold butter.


Pulse (or cut in the butter if not using a processor) until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the orange zest and the cranberries


and stir to incorporate. Now slowly add the cream, about 1/4 cup at a time,


until the dough comes together. Don't make it too wet or you'll have to use more flour later. You want it to be barely holding together. Transfer the dough to a floured mat and pat out to a rectangle.


Fold the dough into thirds, pat out again, and fold into thirds again. (This is just gently kneading the dough.) Finally, pat out into a final rectangle. Cut the rectangle in half vertically, then into squares, and cut each square into two triangles so you end up with 16 pieces.


Carefully move each scone to a baking sheet lined with either parchment or a baking mat.


Brush each scone with a little cream and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.



Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden.


Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee or tea!


One year ago: Stromboli
Two years ago: Sausage Pumpkin Pasta
Three years ago: Baba Ghanoush

Get more inspiration at Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday (#2), Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Tasteful Tuesday, Tuesday Talent Show, Clever Chicks, Hearth and Soul, Cast Party Wednesday, Whatcha Whipped Up, What's Cooking Wednesday, Wednesday Extravaganza, Wicked Good Wednesdays, Food on Friday: Scones.

Cranberry Orange Cream Scones

2 cups flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
5 Tbsp. cold butter
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 Tbsp. orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup heavy cream (+ 1 Tbsp. more for brushing)
turbinado sugar for sprinkling

Place flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl and mix. Cut in butter until it resembles coarse meal. Add cranberries and orange zest. Gradually pour in heavy cream about 1/4 cup at a time and lightly mix until the dough comes together in a shaggy ball. It will still have lots of loose, sandy pieces.

Place dough on a floured surface and roughly work it into a ball. Press the ball down into a rectangular shape. Fold the dough into thirds. Press the dough down again into a rectangular shape in a vertical position and fold into thirds again.

Press the dough down a large rectangle. Cut it in half then into squares, then divide each square into triangles (you will have 16). Separate the individual scones and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking mat.

Brush the top of the scones with cream and then sprinkle each one with the turbinado sugar. Bake at 425 for 12-15 mins until golden brown on top.


Recipe Source: At Home with Haley

Monday, January 21, 2013

Bacon and Egg Pie


This is one of my favorite types of dishes - yummy, easy, uses staple ingredients, and just as good as leftovers. When I found it on Gloria's blog, Ginger Snap Girl I knew I would have to pick it for this month's Secret Recipe Club. And I'm glad I did.

I love how the creamy goat cheese complements the crispy bacon, and the flavors are irresistable. I hope you'll try the Bacon and Egg Pie for yourself and see how good it is! It's delicious served with a crispy green vegetable - I loved it with roasted green beans.

Start by frying the bacon. Since it needs to be crumbled anyway, I like to cut it into small pieces with my kitchen shears - it cooks up much faster!


While it's cooking, chop up the vegetables: onion, red pepper and mushrooms.


When the bacon is cooked, transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate.


Pour off most of the bacon grease, then add the vegetables to the pan.


Cook over medium high heat until the vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the eggs and half and half and whisk well.


Transfer the cooked vegetables to a greased pie plate, and then top with the bacon.


Crumble the goat cheese over the mixture, then sprinkle on the Parmesan.


Pour the eggs over the vegetables.


Bake for about an hour or until the pie is golden brown and a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.


Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack before cutting into wedges.

Thanks for a great recipe, Ginger Snap Girl!

One year ago: Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Two years ago: Sausage Pumpkin Pasta
Three years ago: Mocha Cheesecake Bars

Find more great bacon recipes at Bacon-Fest!

Bacon and Egg Pie

1/3 pound bacon
1/4 pound white mushrooms, quartered
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 red pepper, diced
2 ounces soft goat cheese
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. thyme
5 eggs
1 cup fat free half and half
salt and pepper

Cook bacon in a large skillet until very crisp. Remove; drain on paper towels. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from skillet. Return skillet to medium-high heat; add onions, mushrooms and red pepper. Cook until well browned, about 4 minutes. Remove from skillet; spread vegetables in a greased 9 or 10 inch pie plate.

Arrange bacon over vegetables, then sprinkle with goat cheese, Parmesan and thyme.

Beat eggs and half and half in a large bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture over bacon-vegetable mixture. Bake at 325 for one hour or until egg pie is set and deep golden brown. Remove from the oven, and place on wire rack for 10 minutes. Slice into wedges, and serve. Serves 6



Thursday, January 17, 2013

Banana Waffles


My love for bananas is well documented on this blog. From bread, muffins, crepes and cake to souffles, ice cream, pie and bars, I've got the banana theme covered. Even banana pancakes have appeared. When I saw that the theme for the Improv Challenge this month was bananas and nutmeg, I was excited! I love bananas (you already know that) and I love nutmeg, too! And I was happy to be able to expand my banana repertoire.

These waffles are a nice change from regular waffles - filled with mashed bananas and flavored with both cinnamon and nutmeg, they are delicious topped with whipped cream or with syrup (or both)! Any leftovers reheat nicely in the toaster oven.

You can throw together the batter while the waffle iron heats up - it's that fast. Start by whisking together the milk and egg in a large measuring cup or batter bowl. Then add in the flour, salt, baking powder,


cinnamon


and nutmeg.


Stir until combined and smooth, then add the mashed bananas.


Stir it again, then pour the batter onto a hot waffle iron.


Bake until golden brown.


(Clearly I pour a little to much batter on the iron!)

Hooray for bananas (and nutmeg, too)! See more great combinations below.

One year ago: Caramel Chocolate Pumpkin Blondies
Two years ago: Marbled Peanut Butter Brownies
Three years ago: Pasta with Garlic Shrimp and Broccoli

Find more inspiration at Full Plate Thursday, Recipe Box, Thursday's Treasures, Foodie Friday, Food on Friday, Foodjacabradalidocious Friday, Foodie Friday.

Banana Waffles

1 1/4 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 small ripe bananas, mashed

In a large measuring cup or batter bowl, whisk together egg, oil and milk. Add flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir until mixture is smooth. Add in mashed bananas and stir lightly until combined.

Pour batter onto a greased waffle iron. Cook until golden brown. Serve hot. Serves 4.




Monday, January 14, 2013

Island Chicken


Isn't it great when you can find a recipe that's so simple yet so delicious, that you wonder how it's possible? This chicken is exactly that - it has a short list of ingredients, so you wonder what makes it so special, but it's just the right combination of ingredients. Baking the chicken in the marinade keeps it nice and tender and juicy. Although I'm not sure why it's called Island Chicken, it might be because you'll think you're on vacation - it's so easy!

For the marinade, combine the oil, lemon juice, soy sauce,


garlic,


oregano, salt and pepper. Place the chicken in 9x13 baking dish and pour the marinade over it.


Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 10 hours. If you marinaded the meat in a dish that can't go in the oven (like I did!) then transfer the chicken to a baking dish at this step and pour the remaining marinade over it.


Bake for 30-45 minutes until the chicken juices run clear. (The time will vary depending on the size of your chicken pieces.)

See? Easy peasy. And super tasty. Any leftovers are great in salad or soup.


One year ago: North Woods Bean Soup
Two years ago: Carrot Bran Muffins
Three years ago: Baked Oatmeal

Find more great ideas at Mangia Monday, Mop it Up Monday, Mix it Up Monday, Melt in your Mouth Monday, Recipe Sharing Monday, On the Menu Monday, Seasonal Inspiration, Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday (#2), Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Tasteful Tuesday, Tuesday Talent Show, Clever Chicks, Hearth and Soul, Cast Party Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Whatcha Whipped Up Wednesday, What's Cooking Wednesday, Wednesday Extravaganza, Wicked Good Wednesday.



Island Chicken

1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds chicken breasts/tenderloins

Combine the oil, lemon juice, soy sauce, garlic, oregano and salt and pepper in a large measuring cup. Whisk well until the marinade is well mixed. Place chicken in 9x13 baking dish and cover with marinade. Cover the dish with plastic wrap. Refrigerate and marinate up to 10 hours.

Bake at 350 until cooked through and the internal temperature reaches 165° F, about 30-45 minutes (exact baking time will depend on the size of your chicken pieces.) Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe Source: Annie's Eats
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