Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tender Pork Chops with Apple Onion Gravy and Mashed Potato's

From Weight Watchers, 4 pts per pork chop and 1/2 c of gravy
2 tsp reduced-calorie tub margarine
3 medium onions, sliced
4 3 oz loin pork chops
1/4 tsp salt
ground pepper to taste
1 c apple juice

In large saucepan, melt margarine, add onions. cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, 5 minutes, until softened.

Sprinkle pork on both sides with salt and pepper. Add pork and juice to onion mixture, bring lliquid to a boil. reduce heat to low; simmer, covered, 1 hr 15 min, until prok is cooked through and fork tender.

now.. we ended up using 2 packages of boneless pork loin chops. so I had a total of 11 small chops in the pan. I used 3 large onions sliced thinly and used 2.5c of apple juice. In the end I also made a rue to thicken the liquid to make my gravy. So you can adjust it as you like, just take the base directions and go with it. We wanted to make sure we had dinner and lunches for the next day. I ended up just simmering them for like 1 hr 45 min, and i wasn't sure they were tender, when I went to cut them they were so very tender. It was a great recipe, everyone loved it. The apple juice added just enough sweetness to the onions. Great flavor and with mashed potatoes how can you go wrong!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Coconut and Lime Macaroons

The last one I chose.. I have been wanting to make for sometime. I have never made Macaroons, and have discovered this sudden obsession with Coconut. Everything I think to make has coconut in it, and this was my chance to test the recipe. Light, and crunchy on the outside, intense lime glaze = yummy!!
4 lg egg whites
3 c sweetened desiccated coconut
3/4 c granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c all purpose flour
1 c confectioners sugar sifted
grated rind of 1 lime
3-4 tsp lime juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Put the egg whites, coconut, sugar, vanilla, and flour in a large heavy pan. Mix well.
Place over a low heat and cook for 6-8 min, stirring constantly to make sure it does not stick. When the mixture becomes the consistency of thick porridge, remove from the heat.
Place spoonfuls of the mixture in rocky piles on the lined baking sheets. Bake for 12-13 min until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely on the baking sheets.
to make the topping, put the icing sugar and lime rind into a bowl and add enough lime juice to give a thick pouring consistency. Place a spoonful of icing on each macaroon and allow it to drip down the sides.

Now.. I had to bake them a little bit longer to get that golden brown color. the outside is a bit crunchy, inside is nice and soft. they smell amazing. I have yet to try one, the Step dad said they tasted great!! The are a very pretty, impressive cookie!!

White Chocolate Apricot Oatmeal Cookies

Next was the White Chocolate Apricot Oatmeal Cookies, My mom spoke up and said they sounded good, and well I really prefer testing out new recipes than making the same one's over and over haha...
3/4 c butter or margarine
1/2c granulated sugar
1/2c packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 bag Hershey's premier White Chips
3/4 c chopped dried apricots

Heat Oven to 375 degree's
Beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in large bowl until fluffy. Add egg, beat well. Add flour and baking soda. Beat until well blended. Stir in oats, white chips and apricots. Loosely form rounded teaspoonfuls dough into balls, place on ungreased cookie sheet ( I so didn't read that part!! I just droped tspfuls haha)
Bake 7-9 minutes or just until lightly browned; do not over bake. Cool slightly, remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.
 I do believe that pic is upside down haha I am in no mood to fix it but its alot of cookies :)
A very yummy cookie, just sweet enough and a little crunchy and yet chewy. We liked em :)

Hermit Cookies with Orange Glaze

The second cookie I chose was a Hermit cookie, the flavors just sounded yummy to me, and with an Orange Glaze.. Uhm why not!!

2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 c firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 lg eggs
3 Tbsp pure maple syrup (or molasses)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 c dark raisins
1 1/4 c chopped walnuts

Orange Icing:
3/4c confectioner's sugar, sifted
2tsp freshly squeezed orange juice
zest of orange ( I just zested til I liked what I saw haha)
Hot water to desired thickness.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy, about 30 sec. Gradually add the dark brown sugar and continue to beat until the Mixture is light in texture, 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the maple syrup and vanilla. At low speed, beat in the flour mixture in two additions, mixing just until blended. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the raisins and walnuts.
Drop the dough by rounded tsp onto parchment lined baking sheets, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 9-12 minutes, until they are just set in the center and browned on the bottom. Transfer the cookies to wire racks and cool completely.

In a medium Bowl, whisk together the confectioner's sugar, orange juice and just enough hot water to make an icing thin enough to drizzle. I just used a fork and then drizzled all over the cooled cookies.

They were tasty, very fall like in flavor. A definite for Thanksgiving time!!

My Grandma's Persimmon Cookies

My Step Dad just started back to school, and his classes are ending and asked for his Birthday if I would make cookies for him to take to the classes. He requested one of them be his Mom's Persimmon cookies, which a wonderfully simple recipe, I doubled it so he could have a stash in the freezer!!
1/2 c of shortening
1 c of sugar
(Blend these together with a mixer til creamed together)
1 1/2c persimmon pulp (about 4-5 persimmons)
1 egg beaten
(mix these 2 together and set aside)
2 c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda
                                                                                    (mix together in a medium bowl and set aside)
Add alternating between the Dry ingredients and the Persimmon pulp mixture to the creamed mixture. Mixing well. Stir in 1 cup of raisins and 1 cup of Chopped Nuts.
Drop the dough by teaspoon fulls on parchment lined cookie sheets, then press down with a wet fork before baking. Bake for 15 minutes at 374 degrees til done. They should be lightly brown on the bottom. these do not spread much, basically stay the shape you put them on the pan. So you can fit quite a few on a single sheet pan based on the size of your cookies. 

Friday, May 21, 2010

Mango Chili Jam Chicken!

I made grilled Chicken tonight with my Mango Chili Jam! I wanted the jam a little saucer so I mixed a little bit of Sweet baby rays bbq sauce with it. And man it was sooo good. It had been sometime since I grilled anything, but 30 minutes on the grill and 15 min of rest time under foil.. and I had the most amazing, Juicy, and tasty chicken!! it was fantastic!!

Island Salsa..

My mom tried the rice at Applebee's recently and was on a mission to figure it out. We found that it was an island salsa that was placed on top of it. So we went looking. I decided to marinade swordfish steaks in a Jerk Marinade and bake it in foil pouches... omg awesome !! you just have to bake them about 20 minutes. I made a whole grain brown rice and then this recipe of which we served on both the rice and sword fish. It is so spicy! you really only need it on the Rice haha..

Island Salsa:

1 cup chopped peeled pineapple
1 cup chopped peeled mango (we used mandarin orange segments instead)
1 cup chopped yellow or red bell pepper
2/3 c chopped peeled kiwi fruit
1/2 c finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp minced Serrano chili
ground white pepper

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. season with white pepper and salt. ( can be made 3 hrs ahead)

We are so making this again, we figure fish tacos.. GRUB!! and am going to use the last of the salsa tonight on some saffron rice with my mango chili glazed grilled chicken. Cant wait!! make sure you get some of the juice as you spoon on the salsa.. it mixes with the rice soo nicely. And I made sure to have mine out at room temp so it wasn't too cold when we added it to the top of the hot rice!

Thumbprint Cookies With Nuts!

So I went ahead and did two different batches on my thumbprint excursion.. on the day I should NOT have baked!! and made a batch that was rolled in Toasted Chopped Walnuts.. these were quite awesome!! My fave of the 2 recipes by far! and all filled with my awesome jam of course ;).

Thumbprint Cookies

1/2 c unsalted butter, room temp
1/4 c granulated white sugar
1 large egg, separated
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 c hazelnuts, almonds, pecans or walnuts, toasted and finely chopped.
1/2 cup jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees f. and place rack in center of oven. line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes) Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
In a separated bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the flour mixture to the batter and beat just until combined. If the batter is too soft to roll into balls, refrigerate for about 30 min.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy. Place the chopped nuts on a plate. roll the dough into 1 inch balls. taking one ball of dough at a time, dip first into the egg white and then lightly roll in the nuts. Place on the prepared baking sheet spacing about 1 inch apart. Using your thumb or end of a wooden spoon, make an indentation into the cent of each fookie and fill with about 1/2 tsp of jam
Bake for about 13-15 minutes, or until cookies are set and the nuts have nicely browned. remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool .

Thumbprint cookies..maybe...

With all the damn Jam I had, I felt the need to put them in something. Now true.. this day may not have been the day to bake! I felt horrible... so it may have not been the best thing for me to do, but meh I did it lol. I learned long ago they may not always be pretty but usually tastes awesome!
I found the first recipe to use, I really didn't want them all made with nuts!

Almond Shortbread Thumbprints

1 cup butter, softened
2/3 c white sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 c all purpose flour
1/2 c jam

1/2 c confectioners sugar
3/4 tsp almond extract
1 tsp milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, cream together butter, and white sugar until smooth. Mix in 1/2 tsp almond extract. Mix in flour until dough comes together. Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on un-greased cookie sheets. Make a small hole in the center of each ball, using your thumb and finger, and fill the hole with preserves.
Bake for 14-18 minutes in preheated oven, or until lightly browned. let cool 1 minutes on the cookie sheets.
In a med bowl, mix together the confectioners sugar, 3/4 tsp almond extract and milk until smooth drizzle lightly over warm cookies. ( I had to add more milk to make it able to drizzle)
I not thinking forgot to rotate my pans.. sigh.. so the strawberry pan with both of my strawberry jams on it spread and browned a little more than I would have liked! but they tasted wonderful.

I made Jams again!!

After my first jam session 2 yrs ago, I finally broke out the canner. Black berries were on sale as were Strawberries and I spent 2 days making 4 different Jams. I am not going to post recipes for 3 of them, as they have been made before as they are or simply swapping out another fruit. I made traditional Strawberry, Blackberry and the much loved Strawberry Lemon Marmalade (so good!!!) The one I will post at least after pics of the other 3 was the Freezer jam I made. My Preggo Best Friend loves Dried Mango Slices with Chili.. so when I came across Mango Chili Freezer jam I could not resist making it. As for taste, haha none of us has tried it yet, but tonight Its going on as a glaze for grilled chicken and I am so excited to see how it comes out!
The Canned Blackberry Jam and it being made in the process!! I wanted to make Blackberry 2 yrs ago, but alas the small amount of time that the berries were in season I never was able to buy them to make it. So when I saw they were on sale super cheap I couldn't help but decide now was the time to make the Blackberry Jam, and man I have tons of Jars of it lol. Some have already been given away and I believe a few will be baby shower favors :) and well I used it in some Thumbprint cookies that will be posted shortly and the rest well.. Merry Christmas to all haha!
The famous Strawberry Lemon Marmalade, First made 2 years ago. And was requested by a few people to be made again! And well I quite loved it so of course I made it again. My preggo BFF even showed me how amazing it tasted with Ritz Crackers!! something I would never have fathomed, but omg, the jar and crackers and its a dip waiting to be devoured!! and of course it also went in some thumbprint cookies!! I may have to make another batch, making large Jars this one went quick!!

And now we have the traditional Strawberry Jam! The first year I made jam I stayed away from anything rather traditional, all my jams were a combination of flavors and spices. But with all the strawberries I had and well i do love plain ole strawberry jam I felt compelled to simply make it! So I did, a sweet and yummy strawberry jam. Now during these 2 days of Jamming, I was also Making 9.5 doz cream puffs.. I was exhausted when I was finishing up the Strawberry jam and had just pulled it off the heat lol. I will say as I ladled it I was afraid it would be too thin and end up yummy ice cream topping, But when checked the next day it was great and I had my 3rd jam all done :) Now.. the 4th Jam is the one I intend to post the recipe for. The Mango Chili Freezer Jam. I had never made a freezer jam before, and well had never really tried mango before so woohoo for some new things! I did taste a bit of the mango, a little funky, like sweet juicy pumpkin like. Smelled weird too in my opinion. And it was such a bitch to seed and process that well frozen mango for the win next time I do anything with mango! but here it is!
Mango Chili Jam

1/2 c sugar
1 1/59 oz pkg Ball Simple Creations Freezer Jam Fruit Pectin
2 cups diced, crushed mango ( I couldn't figure out how to ever make it diced! it was crushed and mushed the whole time lol)
2 green jalapeno pepers, seeded and finely diced
1 red jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
4 plastic ball (8oz) freezer Jars

Stir sugar and contents of pectin package in a bowl until well blended.
add mango and peppers. Stir 3 minutes
Ladle jam into clean jars to fill line. Twist on lids. Let stand until thickened, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate up to 3 wks or freeze up to 1 yr

Now I keep forgetting to stock gloves for my hot pepper cutting times, which lately have been often! so I put them and the mango in my food processor and just gave it a whirl. They came out splendidly together lol. I also only got 3 of the 8oz cups of Jam and not the 4. But then, I may have not gotten enough of the mango out or made it too mushy no idea. It set up nice and thick though, and can't wait to see how it tastes grilled on chicken!

Rachel Rays White Lightning Chili..Tweaked

I wanted to make my best friend and her family White Chicken Chili, well I used to have an awesome recipe and thought I had it posted on her, no.. I just have a picture of it in a damn cup. I was not a happy person that day lol. SO I thought woohoo I can buy a new cookbook. I was starving had not eating and love looking at cookbooks.. needless to say after an hour of doing so and nothing catching my eye I went to that little help kiosk in the middle of all Barnes and Noble stores. I mentioned that I was looking for a good Chicken Chili recipe and the Girl chirped up that Rachel Ray has one and they make it almost weekly. Who am I to say no.. she got me the book, I flipped through it and thoughts why not give it a try, so I bought Rachel Ray 30-minute meals. and on page 142 is White Lightning Chili.
The next week, we were in her Mom's kitchen whipping up a batch with a few tweaks, My favorite MIA recipe took a generous helping of Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese that was added at the end, it added heat and a creaminess to the chili, we added an entire block of shredded pepper jack to this recipe. That was the only changes I believe we made to the recipe. Now after having it, it was more soup like to me, even with the addition of all that cheese, it was alot of broth, I would definitely increase the cans of beans  to about 2 cans of beans to 2 lbs of meat.. make it a more thicker and chunkier chili. Otherwise it was damn good!! and everyone loved it, and my Preggo best friend just kept wanting to drink the broth haha..

White Lightning Chili Tweaked :

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs ground Turkey breast
1 lg yellow onion, chopped
1 Serrano or jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp ground cumin
a palm full chopped fresh cilantro
a couple shakes cayenne pepper sauce
2 cans (14 oz each) no fat low sodium chicken broth
1 can (15 oz) Great Norther/white kidney beans, drained
Coarse salt, to taste
Crushed tortilla chips for topping

Heat oil in deep skillet or pot over medium-high heat. Add turkey and cook for a couple of minutes, keeping the ground meat moving. Add onion, minced hopper, garlic, seasonings and cilantro. Reduce heat to medium and cook together for 5 minutes to soften and sweeten onion. Add broth and beans. Add salt to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer ( at this point I added almost 2 lbs of shredded pepper jack cheese in to the chili and stirred to melt it)until you're ready to serve.

Top bowls with crushed tortilla chips, or any chili toppings you like.  we Topped it with chopped green onions and used tortilla chips as scoops hehe it was very tasty! I will make this again! Tweaking as I go of course!

Biscuit-Topped Chicken Pot Pie..

2 14-oz cans chicken broth
2 cups small fresh mushrooms, halved
2 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch-long pieces
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch-long pieces
1 bay leaf
3 Tbsp butter or margarine
1/3 c all purpose flour
1/2 c whipping cream or evaporated milk
2 1/2 c chopped cooked chicken
1 c frozen peas, thawed
3/4 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp black pepper
home style biscuits (recipe to follow)

Preheat oven to 400. In a dutch oven, combine broth, mushrooms, carrots, onions, celery and bay leaf. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 20 minutes. Drain vegetables, reserving 2 1/4 cups liquid. Discard bay leaf. Set reserved vegetables and liquid aside.
In same pan, Melt butter over low heat. Stir in flour. Cook and stir for 2 min. Gradually stir in reserved cooking liquid and whipping cream. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Stir in reserved vegetables, chicken, peas, poultry seasoning and pepper; Heat through. Keep warm while preparing biscuits.
Pour Chicken mixture into an ungreased 2 quart casserole. Place biscuits on top of hot chicken mixture. Bake, uncovered, in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until biscuits are golden. makes 6-8 servings.

Homestyle Biscuits: Combine 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 1/4 tsp sugar, and 1/4 tsp salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in 1/3 c shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/2 c milk until combined. Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface. Quickly knead dough until nearly smooth. Roll dough to 1/2 in chickness. cut with a floured 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter.

** it was a long day so I totally cheated on this part. I did not make the biscuits, good old Pilsbury Southern Style Biscuits went right on top of this baby lol. And.. I ended up chopping a lot more chicken and veggies and just winged the sauce to make it more and then adjusted thickness. It was not hard to do and oh so yummy.

Super Moist Banana Nut Bread...

From my Cookbook : The Weekend Baker By Abigail Jonson Dodge

1 3/4 c all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp table salt
3 medium very, very ripe banana, peeled
3/4 c firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 c canola or corn oil
2 lag eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup chopped walnuts, tasted ( I used macadamia nuts)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until well blended. In a large bowl, combine the bananas,brown sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer ( stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or hand held mixer) on medium speed until well blended with only small bits of banana visible. Pour in the dry ingredients and gently stir with a rubber spatula just until blended. If using the nuts, add them when the flour is almost blended and stir to incorporate. 
Scrape into a lightly greased and floured 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 55-60 min. Using a thin knife, gently loosen the cake from the pan sides and slip it out of the pan. Tip the loaf on its side and let cool on the rack until warm or at room temp.

was very tasty.. I did add a little more banana than planned, as I had the frozen and just poured in.. which lead to a center that would not set up lol we ate around that!! it was very tasty and I will make this again only, following the banana amounts properly hehe

Weight Watchers Raisin Oatmeal Cookie Bites..

So my Mom.. is doing Weight Watchers, and is having amazing success with it, 1yr down and she has lost over 80lbs!! am jealous but ever so proud. The perk is she is trying new things!! Many new things, no cookies aren't new to her lol but she gets these weekly recipes at her meetings and this was in it. It is a fantastic Oatmeal Cookie recipe!! soo moist and tender, and its evil because its next to impossible to eat just 1!! They are great and only 1 pt each for those following Weight Watchers!! Really a very tasty little cookie!!!

1 1/2 cup(s) rolled oats  
3/4 cup(s) whole-grain wheat flour  
1/2 tsp baking powder  
1/4 tsp table salt  
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon  
1/2 cup(s) butter, softened  
1/4 cup(s) sugar  
1/2 cup(s) packed brown sugar  
1 large egg(s)  
1 tsp vanilla extract  
1 cup(s) raisins, chopped  

Preheat oven to 350ºF
In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; set aside. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and both sugars until incorporated. Add egg and vanilla; mix thoroughly. Add oat mixture and mix until just combined; fold in raisins.
Drop rounded teaspoons of batter onto 2 un-greased cookie sheets, about 1-inch apart each. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes for chewy cookies or 11 to 12 minutes for crispy cookies. Remove from oven and let cookies rest on cookie sheets for about 2 minutes; remove cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Yields 1 cookie per serving. 1 pt per serving.

Change the flavor of this recipe by adding walnuts instead of raisins (could affect POINTS values).
Oh and yea.. couldn't pass up a picture of the dough in my nifty new 5 qt Kitchen Aide!! So the Best Mom ever when the first Christmas Home she treats you to the best mixer ever!!


Pineapple Sweet and Sour Chicken...

I am not a sweet and sour fan, in fact I tend to never eat it if I can get away with it. My Mom brought this recipe to me, and I can not tell her no!! never!! cause well she is finally trying all these new things, I never would have thought she would bring them to me!! So I had to buck up and be willing to try it too! and what was my thought, oh hell yea it was grub!!! of course we said we will make it again, and its been like 3 mnths since we made it ( haha for updating my blog SUPER later) but we keep trying other new things instead haha.
2 cups Minute white Rice, Uncooked
1 can (20oz) pineapple chunks
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium green or red bell pepper, cut into chunks ( I HATE green bell peppers, I went with color! )
1 medium onion, cut into chunks
1/2 c mushrooms, sliced
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup sweet and sour sauce ( yea I know... didn't make my own.. but it was her recipe :P)
2 Tbsp less sodium soy sauce

Prepare rice according to package directions.
Drain pineapple, reserve 2 Tbsp of Juice.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add peppers, onions and mushrooms, cook until vegetables are tender crisp. remove vegetables from skillet, set aside.
Cook chicken in same skillet until chicken is browned and cooked through. Add vegetables back to skillet with sweet and sour sauce, soy sauce, pineapple chunks and reserved juice. Heat through. Serve with hot cooked rice.
Serves 6.

SO very good!

Martha Stewert Strawberry Cupcakes

From Martha Stewart's Cupcakes!!

The icing is sooo good, man the fruit you could use with this amazing yumminess!! And the cupcakes as well, after having one, I thought of all the berries and stone fruits that may work in the seasonal cupcake!

2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/4 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 large whole eggs plus 1 egg white
1 cup milk
2 cups finely chopped fresh strawberries, plus garnish

Strawberry Meringue buttercream ( to follow)

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together both flours, baking powder and salt.

2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and fluffy. Add whole eggs and the white, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the milk, and beating until well combined. Fold in chopped strawberries by hand.

3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden and a cake tester wire inserted in centers comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 15 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto rack and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored up to 1 day at room temperature in airtight containers.

4. To finish, fill a pastry bag fitted with a large open-star tip with buttercream. Pipe buttercream onto each cupcake, swirling tip and releasing as you pull up to form a peak. Just before serving, thinly slice remaining strawberries and tuck a few pieces into buttercream.

Strawberry Meringue Buttercream

1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and coarsely chopped
4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups ( 3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature

1. Puree strawberries in a food processor. Combine egg whites and sugar in the heatproof bowl of a standing electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved. (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips.)

2. Attach the bowl to the mixer fitter with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, mix until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy and completely cool. (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 10 minutes.

3. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter has been added, scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula and switch to the paddle attachment; continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes. Add strawberries and beat until combined. Stir with a flexible spatula until the frosting is smooth. Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat with a paddle attachment on low speed until smooth again, about 5 min.

Blue Berry Muffins Baby!

Via Weight Watchers website.. omg awesome muffins.. already thinking they need to be raspberry and blackberry versions!!! mmmm

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp table salt
1 lg egg
1 cup sugar, divided
3/4 c reduced-fat sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c skim milk, divided
2 cups blueberries, washed and picked over
2 tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375, place muffin liners in a 12 hole muffin tin.

In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat egg with 3/4 cup sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add sour cream and beat until thoroughly combined, blend in vanilla extract.

Add half of flour and half the milk to sugar mixture; beat until just combined. Add remaining flour mixture and milk, beat until smooth.

Fold in blueberries and fill each muffin liner about 3/4 full, set aside.

To make streusel topping, in a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup each of sugar and flour. Pour in melted butter and combine with fingertips. Divide crumb mixture over muffins, gently press into top of muffin batter with fingertips.

Bake until slightly golden, and a toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean, about 30 -35 min. Cool in pans for about 10-15 in, and then transfer muffins to wire racks to cool completely.4 pts each..    Yummy muffins!!                           

My banana Cowboy Cookies!

Super yummy!! extremely moist.. so a great use for those couple of banana's that have over ripened! I may never make my normal cowboy cookie recipe as is again hehe.. made about 4-5 doz cookies :) Now there is alot of stuff in these cookies!! and you need to like the banana chocolate combo because it really stands out!!
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 c granulated sugar
3/4 c packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 small ripe banana's
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 c semisweet chocolate chips
1 c sweetened coconut
1 c chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350. Beat butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Beat in sugars, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and 1/4 tsp salt. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in banana's ( just break in half and drop in batter!) Beat in flour. Stir in oats and then the chocolate, coconut, and pecans.

Drop by rounded tsp 2 inches apart onto parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake about 10min or until edges are lightly browned. Transfer to rack and cool.

Orange Oatmeal Cookies...

 Was on a cookie kick a while back and Came across this recipe. Of course I tweaked the recipe to use butter over Shortening and came up with a lacy cookie. They were very tasty!!

1 c sugar
1 c packed brown sugar
1 c butter-flavored shortening
2 eggs
2 tbsp Orange Juice
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp grated orange peel
2 c all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 c quick cooking oats
1 c sweetened shredded coconut
(I added about 1/2 c or so of chopped macadamia nuts as well)

Heat oven to 350. Beat sugar, brown sugar and shortening in large bowl at medium speed 3 min or until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 2 tbsp orange juice, vanilla and 1 tsp orange peel until blended.

Whisk flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder in medium bowl. Beat into sugar mixture at low speed just until combined. Stir in oats and coconut (nuts if you did like I did haha)

Drop 1 tbsp dough per cookie 3 inch apart onto parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 10 min. or until golden and set.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Crunchy Ganola

The start of my morning while deciding on the catch name for my new Blog was making Granola. I want to start making as many homemade things as I can to get away from all those added things I don't want in my body. Who can pass up homemade granola? Asking my new Roomie if he was up for some, I dug through recipes and found one I happened to have all the ingredients for. Considering I just moved out on my own, I am very very broke, having to help finish up paying for stuff with the Ex-hubby and paying to live where I am, leaves very little $$ to buy much. SO I give you :

Crunch Granola!

1/1.2 c brown sugar
1/2 cup water
4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt (crap I forgot this haha)
8 cups rolled oats
2 cups chopped pecans, walnuts or slivered almonds

**there are only 2 of us to eat this, and not sure if my friend will eat much of it, so I halved this recipe with no trouble. For the nuts I pulled out what I had, a mix of all 3 to equal my 1 cup.)

Preheat oven to 275.
Line cookie sheets (2 if full batch 1 if half) with parchment paper and reserve.
Combine brown sugar and water in 4-cup microwave proof glass measuring cup or bowl. Place in microwave on high for 5 min. and cook until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from microwave, and add vanilla extract and salt.
In large mixing bowl, combine oats, nuts and brown sugar syrup mixture. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Spread the granola on prepared cookie sheets and bake 45 min to 1 hr stirring often until golden and crunchy.
When the mixture comes out of the oven, it is still very pliable. You may choose to add in dried fruit as a finishing touch at this time. When completely cool, store in an airtight container.
Nutritional info: ** what is listed on the recipe with out the added fruit.294 cal
Fat: 10g
sat fat: 1g
carb: 45g
fiber: 4.6g
Protein: 7.3g

The recipe says it yields 10c but haha no idea how much is in an actual serving. I added about a cup of dried cherries, raisins and cranberries combined.