Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cozy Winter Recipes Round Up, Part II

Here's part II of our Cozy Winter Recipes Round Up. These dishes are sure to brighten your long, dark, wintry days!

Crock pot Carnitas


For a different take on taco night, try these carnitas! Your house will smell amazing, and the crock pot makes these easy to fix and forget. A few accompaniments and some toasty corn tortillas and you're all set.

Beef and Bok Choy Hot Pot


Break out of your soup rut with this fun Korean style take on beef and veggie soup. Served over rice noodles, you will be transported to an Asian paradise. (It's not winter there, is it?)

Chipotle Shrimp Tacos


Spicy shrimp with a cool avocado-cabbage topping. These are difficult to resist!

Stromboli


Stromboli is just a fancy name for pizza with all the toppings on the inside. This recipe is super adaptable - use what you have and what you like, and your pizza nights may never be the same.

North Woods Bean Soup


A great soup studded with great for you beans, carrots and spinach.

Breakfast Couscous


A fun twist on a hot breakfast, I love this couscous with dried fruit. If you've never tried couscous before, this is a great introduction. And if you've only made savory varieties, be sure to get this sweet breakfast version in your repertoire as soon as possible!

Cinnamon Roll Coffeecake


Do I even need to say anything about this? You won't even care that it's winter when you're eating this delicious coffee cake!

Cranberry Orange Cream Scones


Cranberries are a wonderful winter fruit, especially when paired with orange, and even more so when tucked into delicious scones. These have the addition of cream, so they are super fancy and super delicious.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Cozy Winter Recipes Round Up

I don't know about where you live, but here, it has already been a long winter, and it's STILL February. Based on what happened last year, we may have several months to go. So I wanted to give you some winter cooking inspiration with recipes from deep in the archives that will help keep you warm, and maybe even make winter go a little faster...

Hot Fudge Sauce


You may think it's too cold for ice cream, but top it with this chocolately goodness and you'll likely go back to the freezer for another scoop!

Beef and Barley Soup with Mushrooms


This is one of my favorite soup recipes, and I love how easy it is to make it in the crock pot. Not only will it warm you up, it will fill you up with lots of beef and barley goodness!

Baked Oatmeal


When it's cold outside, there's nothing better than a hot breakfast. This oatmeal is full of fruit, too, so it's naturally sweet and a great start to the day.

Chicken and Vegetable Strudel


This is a fun take on a sandwich meal - chicken, veggies and cheese tucked into a hearty bread dough, then baked to a golden brown perfection. Wherever I take this meal, I get a ton of compliments. It's a bit different, and super delicious.

Shrimp and Corn Chowder


Did I really say beef and barley soup was my favorite? Oh good, I said ONE of my favorites. Cause this soup is one of my favorites, too. With a little kick from Old Bay seasoning, this soup will warm you up and clear your sinuses!

Bistro Mac and Cheese


Here's a great mac and cheese for grown ups and kids alike. This great dinner has mozzarella, cheddar, cream cheese and gorgonzola for a quadruple threat, oops, I mean treat. It is delicious. Just be sure to serve a big pile of green veggies alongside!

I hope you are inspired. Part II coming soon!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sweet Potato Cornbread with Cinnamon Honey Butter


The theme for Improv Challenge this month is bread and butter, which gave me the perfect excuse to make up a delicious flavored butter to go with this sweet potato cornbread that I've been wanting to try! I love it when restaurants have flavored butter, and it's so easy to make it at home. This makes a great accompaniment to soup, stew, Mexican meals, or about anything else you can think of.

Place sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with water.


Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover, and cook until tender, 15-20 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain thoroughly. Use a food processor to pulse until smooth and fluffy. (If you don't have a processor, just mash thoroughly.) Transfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.


In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal,


sugar, baking powder,


baking soda, salt, allspice, and cinnamon. In a measuring cup, combine the eggs, melted butter and buttermilk.


Add the wet ingredients to the dry


and stir just until combined, taking care not to overmix. Fold in the sweet potatoes.


Spread into a greased 9-inch square pan.


Bake until the top is golden brown and the bread pulls away from the pan sides, 30-35 minutes.


To make the flavored butter, combine the softened butter and honey


in a small bowl. Use a fork to mash the butter and honey together, then stir in the cinnamon.


Serve the bread with the flavored butter, and enjoy!


One year ago: Chicken with Goat Cheese and Sundried Tomato Sauce
Two years ago: Chocolate Mousse Cake with Raspberry Sauce
Three years ago: Pumpkin Bran Muffins
Four years ago: Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake


Sweet Potato Cornbread

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
pinch of allspice
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 Tbsp butter, melted

For the Cinnamon Honey Butter:
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 Tbsp. honey
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Place sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover, and cook until tender, 15-20 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain thoroughly. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until slightly fluffy. Scrape into a bowl and let cool to room temperature.

In a small bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, allspice, and cinnamon. Stir well.

In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter. Add the sweet potatoes and mix well. Then add the dry ingredients and stir just until combined, taking care not to overmix. The batter should be slightly lumpy. Pour into a greased 9-inch square pan.

Bake at 400 until the top is golden brown and the bread pulls away from the pan sides, 30-35 minutes. Place the pan on a rack to cool slightly or completely.

For the butter, in a small bowl, stir together the butter, honey and cinnamon. Serve butter at room temperature with the bread. Store leftover butter in the refrigerator.

Recipe Source: Cornbread adapted from PetitChef



Monday, February 17, 2014

Lemon Blueberry Muffins


With temps staying below freezing, and yet additional snow predicted for here tomorrow, I am trying to invite a little spring into my life in as many ways possible. These lovely muffins fit the bill perfectly! This recipe comes to us from the ladies at Teaspoon of Spice, and was the perfect choice for this month's Secret Recipe Club.

I love that these muffins use some whole wheat flour, and are chock full of blueberries. They are a great way to start your morning, whether it's snowing or not.

Start by combining the blueberries and 1/4 cup of the flour in a small bowl. Toss to coat all the blueberries with the flour. This will help prevent the berries from sinking to the bottom.


In a large bowl, combine the remaining flour, sugar,


salt, baking powder and grated lemon peel.


In a large measuring cup, combine the melted butter, milk,


lemon juice, egg and vanilla. Whisk well to incorporate all the ingredients, then pour the wet ingredients into the dry.


Add the blueberries tossed with flour and stir gently to incorporate the berries.


Fill paper-lined muffin cups with the muffin batter


and bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.


Bring some springtime into your life with these muffins!



Lemon Blueberry Muffins

1 cup flour
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
Grated peel from one small lemon, about 1 teaspoon
juice from one small lemon
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 butter melted, then cooled
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

In a small bowl, combine the blueberries with 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour, and toss to combine.

In a large bowl, combine the remaining flours, salt, baking powder, and lemon peel.

In a large measuring cup, combine milk, egg, butter, lemon juice and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Gently fold in blueberries. Spoon into 12 paper-lined muffin cups.

Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean.



Thursday, February 13, 2014

Cinnamon Sugar Banana Bread


I am so glad that I have not run out of new banana bread varieties to try. I love every single one of them. Add in strawberries (one of the MOST viewed recipes on my blog!), buttermilk, blueberries, cookie butter, cranberries, peanut butter, or just make it up plain, in my opinion, it is hard to find a better breakfast or snack. And because of the moisture and sweetness in bananas, you can limit the fat and sugar. Win/win/win!

This variety is one to add to the collection - with a yummy cinnamon swirl through the middle and a lovely sugary-cinnamon crackle coating on top, you will want to eat piece after piece after piece...

In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, egg,


and vanilla. Beat until creamy. Add in the bananas


and beat until combined. Sprinkle baking soda and salt around on top of the banana mixture, then gently mix in flour.

In a small dish, mix together cinnamon and sugar for the swirl and topping.


Pour half the batter into a greased loaf pan, and sprinkle a little more than half of the cinnamon sugar mixture over the top.


Gently spread remaining batter over the cinnamon sugar, and sprinkle the rest of the cinnamon sugar over the batter. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


Cool on a wire rack, then slice and serve!


Look at that lovely, crackly, cinnamon sugar top!


So good you can't eat just one piece!


Get more inspiration at Full Plate Thursday, Showcase Your Talent, Hearth and Soul, Cast Party, What's Cooking, What's Cooking #2, Foodie Friday, Foodtastic Friday, Foodie Friday #2, Friday Flash, Friday Frenzy.

One year ago: Molten Chocolate Cakes
Two years ago: Creamy Shrimp Linguine
Three years ago: Cauliflower Cheddar Soup
Four years ago: Cranberry Orange Cake

Cinnamon Sugar Banana Bread

3 over-ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
dash of salt
1 1/2 cups flour

For the swirl:
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon


In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat bananas, butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla together. Sprinkle baking soda and salt around on top of the banana mixture. Gently mix in flour.

In a small dish, mix together the 1/3 cup sugar and 1 Tbs cinnamon.

Add 1/2 of the bread batter to a greased loaf pan and then sprinkle a little more than half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture all over the batter in the pan. Add the rest of the batter, and then sprinkle the leftover cinnamon-sugar on top.

Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Lovin from the Oven

Monday, February 10, 2014

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies


Fudgy brownie, sweet creamy cheese, raspberry jam and fresh raspberries. Sounds like a perfect treat for your Valentine, and for you! These ultra rich brownies can be cut in small pieces so that there are enough to share. And although they're "fancy" they are easy to whip up. Make the loved ones in your life super happy with these yummy treats this weekend!

Start by making the cream cheese filling. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, 1 egg, and sugar


on medium speed until smooth. In a separate large bowl, combine the brownie mix, oil, water, almond extract


and remaining 2 eggs. Stir well with a sturdy wooden spoon until all ingredients are incorporated.

Spread half of brownie batter into an 8 or 9" pan that is lined with greased foil. Spread cream cheese mixture over the top


and dollop with raspberry jam.


Spoon remaining brownie batter on top. Using a knife, swirl to create a marble texture.


Gently press raspberries in the batter.


Bake for about 45 minutes or until brownies are puffy and edges are set. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for a couple hours so that the brownies set completely. Then, use the foil to remove the brownies from the pan. Carefully peel back the foil and cut into squares.


Happy Valentine's Day!


One year ago: Valentine's Desserts
Two years ago: Jelly Thumbprints
Three years ago: Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
Four years ago: Scalloped Potatoes

Get more inspiration at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Melt in Your Mouth, Recipe Sharing, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Create, Link, Inspire, Talent Show, Clever Chicks, Share Your Stuff.

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies

1 box family size brownie mix (for a 9x13 pan)
1/4 cup water
2/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs, divided
1/2 Tbsp. almond extract
1 - 8 oz block cream cheese, softened to room temperature (low fat is ok)
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup raspberry jam
2/3 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen (do not thaw before baking)

Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, 1 egg, and sugar on medium speed until smooth. In a separate large bowl, combine the brownie mix, oil, water and remaining 2 eggs. Stir well with a sturdy wooden spoon until all ingredients are incorporated.

Spread half of brownie batter into an 8 or 9" pan that is lined with greased foil. Spread cream cheese mixture over the top and dollop with raspberry jam. Spoon remaining brownie batter on top. Using a knife, swirl to create a marble texture. Gently press raspberries in the batter.

Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes or until brownies are puffy and edges are set. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. For best results, chill until firm before cutting and serving.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen
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