Faux “Spaghetti”! I came up with this simple idea last night since I’ve made great progress shedding my Covid gain, down 10 pounds as of today! Simply, zoodles (zucchini noodles) sautéed with a spray of Pam cooking spray, and an easy sauce of mild Italian sausage, browned with 1/2 of a sliced onion & a little minced garlic, 1 28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes crushed with the hand blender, and 2 tblsp of red wine. All brought to a simmer and served on top with a light sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese. Healthy and filling, I could eat this anytime!
This was my solution to not having any crushed tomatoes on hand… I really need to check my inventories and stock the cupboards again!
I came across this recipe for “skinny” muffins and thought “Viola, just what I need as I try to shed some of these Covid pounds that I acquired over the last year!”
With a simple to follow recipe, and only a couple of items that I needed to grab from the store, I got cookin’, or should I say baking! It’s been a little while since I had the house smell so good.
I made one additional substitution, in addition to a couple that were listed with the recipe, and that was 1/4 C unsweetened applesauce instead of 1/4 C of vegetable/canola oil.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 large egg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Silk Unsweetened Cashewmilk*
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil**
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt***
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups fresh blueberries tossed in 2 tablespoons flour (helps prevent sinking)
Preheat oven to 425F. Spray the cavities of a Non-Stick 12-Cup Regular Muffin Pan very well with cooking spray or grease and flour the pan; set aside. (I don’t prefer the cosmetic look of muffin liners.)
To a large bowl, add all the flour, baking powder, salt, and whisk to combine; set aside.
To a separate large bowl, add the egg, sugar, milk, canola oil, Greek yogurt, vanilla, and whisk until smooth and combined.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring gently until smooth and combined, without needlessly over-mixing or muffins will become tough.
Add the blueberries and fold gently to incorporate. I haven’t tried the recipe using frozen blueberries but if you do, I recommend adding them to the batter frozen because they’ll run and bleed less than if thawed, adjust baking time accordingly if necessary.
Using a large cookie scoop or 1/4-cup measure, evenly distribute the batter into the cavities of the prepared pan, filling each cavity about 3/4-full. Tip – Add a couple blueberries to the top of each muffin for a nice pop of color.
Bake for 5 minutes at 425F. The short baking time at very high heat helps the muffins get a more domed top.
Lower the temp to 375F and bake for about 19 to 20 minutes or until tops are set, lightly golden, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Use your judgment when evaluating doneness because muffin pans, ovens, ingredients, and climates vary. Start watching closely at about 16 minutes.
Allow muffins to cool in pan on top of a wire rack for about 10 minutes before removing and placing on rack to cool completely. Gently rim each cavity with a knife if necessary for easier removal. Muffins are best fresh but will keep airtight at room temp for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
So, here’s the link to the recipe, I really hope you enjoy it and I highly recommend following Averie Sunshine! She hasn’t failed me yet. 😃
🎶 It’s the most wonderful time of the year…🎶 Cookie time!! We can bake sweets galore and not feel guilty about it. Give them as gifts, nibble a few while you address cards, or just enjoy that wonderful feeling you have thinking about how blessed we truly are, despite the challenges we face.
These charming cookies are just the thing to spread some holiday cheer. This time I used a recipe from Willams-Sonoma that came with a cookie cutter set, sometime in the past.
They are a bit thicker than I typically make them, but I will admit they are sturdier and held their shape well while baking. *TIP! I learned that if you roll the dough out directly on a silpat sheet (no flour needed), and cut the cookies there, you can just remove the excess and pop the silpat on a baking sheet) and into the oven. This makes for less handling of the cookies, but the best part is that you can easily re-roll the scraps to cut more cookies, and not have all the extra flour from rolling!!
Here’s the recipe, it was super easy!
2 1/4 cups all purpose glour
1/4 tsp baking oowder
1/4 tsp salt
12 T (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp, cut into pieces
3/4 cup sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
Royal icing (recipe below)
Sprinkles, sugars, candy decorations
In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl in between. Mix until just combined.
Form dough into a ball and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or as long as overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or use Silpat nonstick liners.
On a slightly floured surface (or directly on Silpat), cut out cookie shapes. Space cookies about an inch apart and bake until just golden around the edges, about +/- 10-12 minutes. Cool on Pan for 5 minutes and remove to cooling rack. Decorate as desired. Makes about 12-18 cookies (more if you roll them on the Silpat!).
1/4 tsp vanilla, or other flavored extract, I used peppermint
1/4 tsp cream of tarter
With an electric mixer, beat egg whites until they get foamy, add sugar, vanilla, and cream of tarter. Beat on high speed until the mixture is glossy and stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Use immediately, or store covered tightly with plastic wrap at room temp for up to 6 hours. (It will last longer if you used meringue powder instead of egg whites). Divide into several bowls and tint with food coloring. Have fun!
This is a fun project, that can be done in one day, or spread over a couple. Beware, there are always sprinkles and icing in the strangest places afterwards😂
My daughter sent me this recipe, she tried it first and was so happy with it, and the cold fall nights were the perfect time to try it.
I admit, I had to do a little shopping because there were a few things that I don’t regularly keep on hand, but it was worth a run to the store! It think it took about 30 minutes start to finish, to pull together, so that adds up to a great weeknight meal as well.
18 oz boneless skinless chicken breast
Salt & pepper
2 T vegetable oil
2 shallots, minced
4 cups chicken broth
1 can coconut milk
2 T fish sauce
2 t sugar
6 oz cremini mushrooms (can sub white mushrooms) trimmed and thinly sliced
6 oz snow peas, strings removed and cut in half
2 t Thai Red Curry Paste
2 T lime juice
1/4-1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
Pat chicken dry, season with salty& pepper. Heat oil in large sauce pan until just smoking. Brown chicken lightly, 2-3 minutes per side and transfer to a plate and cover.
Ad shallot to pan and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in broth, coconut milk, 2 teaspoons of fish sauce, and sugar. Scrape up any browned bits.
Add browned chicken and any juices that have accumulated, bring to a simmer about 10 minutes. Flip chicken halfway through. Remove chicken to a cutting board, cool slightly and shred.
Return soup to a simmer, stir in mushrooms & snow peas, cooking until tender, about three minutes. Whisk lime juice, curry paste and remaining fish sauce together in a small bowl. Remove soup from heat and stir in lime/curry mixture and shredded chicken. Let sit for about 2 minutes while chicken heats through. Taste for seasoning, add salt/pepper as needed.
Garnish individual portions with a healthy sprinkle of fresh cilantro and enjoy!
With an excess of white chocolate in the cupboard, I decided these would make some yummy Halloween treats. In fact, they make make another appearance at Christmas.
The recipe, from SallysBakingAddition.com, is quite similar to Bakers One Bowl Brownies, and you can make it on one bowl. I baked the batter in a jelly roll pan lined with foil instead of a 13 x 9 pan, for half the usual time. This yielded a thinner brownie that was easily cut with small cookie cutters. The cut shapes were covered in a chocolate ganache, and/or melted white chocolate drizzle, in lieu of white chips in the batter, and I also skipped the frosting that went with the original. I used cookie cutters that were just one or two bites in size, so these are wonderful little nibbles to have around when you want a little something sweet, or to share them with friends. This must have yielded 60-70 little bites.
1 cup (230g; 2 sticks) unsalted butter
6 ounces(170g) pure white chocolate, coarsely chopped*
Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 9×13 inch pan or line jelly roll pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides to lift the finished brownies out (makes cutting easier!). Set aside.
In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter and chopped white chocolate. Melt in 30 second increments, whisking after each, until completely smooth. Whisk in the sugar until completely combined, then whisk in the eggs and vanilla. Whisk in the flour and salt, then fold in the white chocolate chips (optional) until combined. Batter will be thick. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
Bake for 30 minutes, 15 minutes for jelly roll pan, covering loosely with aluminum foil halfway through. Test the brownies with a toothpick at the 30 minute mark. Insert it into the center of the pan. If it comes out with wet batter, the brownies are not done. If there are only a few moist crumbs, the brownies are done. Keep checking every 2 minutes until you have moist crumbs. My brownies take 32 minutes.
Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting. If cutting into shapes, place in refrigerator for an hour, or more, so brownies are firm. Drizzle cut shapes with chocolate ganache (see recipe below) or melted white chocolate. Add sprinkles if desired.
2 tablespoons melted margarine or 2 tablespoons oil
Combine melted margarine or oil, cocoa, and hot water.
Blend in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla.
Pour or spread on brownies or cake.
Glaze will firm and almost harden when cool.
I recommend using Coconut Oil, in lieu of Margarine or other oils, since it solidifies at a higher temperature (about 70° F). This will give a better chance of not getting runny at room temperature. Though the recipe says it will harden, it’s not like the Magic Shell you pour on ice cream, it is softer than that.
Delicious recipe from Chicago Tribune Health & Family section, which turns out to be a recipe from @kitchn, which I really love. The thing that grabbed me about this was the fennel. It’s an ingredient I don’t use much, so I put this on my shopping list. This packs a wonderful, cumulative punch of heat, I highly suggest giving it a try. Plus, it’s ready in 30 minutes!
Cut andouille sausage crosswise into 1/2 inch rounds and thinly slice 1/2 medium fennel bulb. Place both in straight sided skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sauté lightly. Add 4 cups of water, dried pasta, 2 tsp kosher salt, and 1/2 tsp black pepper.
Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil stirring, and turning pasta with tongs to prevent sticking, until the pasta is al sentence and the liquid is mostly evaporated. This is about 10 minutes. Meanwhile tear fresh basil leaves and add the last two minutes of cooking.
Remove from heat and taste, seasoning with more salt as needed. Garnish with fresh basil.
When I looked in fridge for lunch today, there wasn’t anything obvious, so I got to work and started some pizza dough. I figured by the time I decided on some topping ideas and pulled a salad together, the dough might be ready. I cut the rising time a little short, but I didn’t notice any impact from that, I still got a wonderful, thin crust, with the just the right amount of chewiness.
1 1/4-ounce packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Whisk 1 1/3 cups warm water (105 degrees F) and the sugar in a bowl; sprinkle the yeast on top. Set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the olive oil.
Whisk the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the yeast mixture. Gradually stir with a wooden spoon to make a rough dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes, dusting with more flour if necessary. Form into 2 balls. Brush 2 large bowls with olive oil, add a ball of dough to each and turn to coat with the oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour, 30 minutes. Roll out and top as desired, or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze up to 1 month.
For the toppings I went with caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms, crumbled Boursin cheese, shredded parmesan and mozzarella, and topped with fresh chopped thyme and scallions.
Roll the dough out very thinly and sprinkle cheeses and onions & mushrooms all around. Bake pizza on middle rack at 450 F for 10-12 minutes, until Cheese is bubbly and crust starts to brown around the edges and on the bottom.
This is such a staple, along side a fresh green salad, it makes a wonderful lunch anytime of year. Enjoy it all with a favorite glass of white wine as a mid-day meal on the weekend, or with a creamy cappuccino for brunch!
• 1 (9-inch) frozen ready-to-bake pie crust (MUST be deep dish)
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
• 1 teaspoon minced garlic
• 4 large eggs
• 1 cup half-and-half
• 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning or herbs de Provence
• Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
• 1 and 1/2 cups diced/cubed cooked ham (leftover holiday ham or store-bought)
• 1 cup swiss cheese, freshly grated (I used gruyere.)
• 1 cup cheddar cheese, freshly grated
• Optional garnish: chopped chives
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place unwrapped frozen pie crust on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool slightly.
2. Add the butter to a nonstick pan and melt over medium-high heat. Add in the diced onion and cook 3-5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add in the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove, set aside, and allow to cool slightly.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until lightly beaten. Then whisk in the half-and-half, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste.
4. Gently stir in the cubed ham and both cheeses. Stir in the cooked onion and garlic.
5. Pour filling into the pre-baked pie crust (still on the baking sheet) and bake on the lower oven rack for 35 to 42 minutes, or until set (it might be a little jiggly in the middle)