Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Halloween Soup

For Kate's birthday lastweek I made Black Bean Sweet Potato Soup.
AMAZING! So rich, savory and a combination of some of my favorite flavors.
A highly recommended choice for a Fall Feast.

Black Bean Sweet Potato Soup
adapted from Gourmet, November 1996
Three 15 1/2 ounce cans black beans (about 4 1/2 cups cooked dry- my preference)
1 cup drained canned tomatoes
1 1/4 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup minced shallot
4 garlic cloves minced
2 sweet potatoes, cubed
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ground curry
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ground tumeric
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups stock (I used chicken)

Saute onion, shallot, garlic. Add to cooked beans. Add tomatoes, stock, spices and sweet potato. When sweet potatoes are soft (not mushy) remove and in a food processor coarsely puree 1/2 of mixture and add to remaining mixture.
Season soup with salt and pepper.
Serve soup garnished with sour cream.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

My love language is food and tomorrow is Jill's prelims for PhD. so I am baking away so she willhave lots of yummy goodness to get her through her stressful 24 hours. I made my lasagna rolls so she will not have to worry about dinner for she and Mark and then two desserts. The Chipotle Brownies from last week and a new recipe. . .

Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies!!!!
Recipe from www.smittenkitchen.blogspot.com
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended.
Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/8 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Scones... for people who don't normally love scones

The scones are much lighter, softer, moister (and tastier) and significantly less sweet than those that you’d get in your average coffee shop.

Adapted from the North Fork Table & Inn’s website and Smitten Kitchen (my new favorite cooking blog) .

Super Moist Peach and Blueberry Scones

Makes 12 to 16, depending on how you cut them
2 3/4 cup pastry flour (all-purpose is also fine)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda6 ounces of butter, in 1/2-inch cubes
1.5 cup fresh fruit of your choice, chopped (I chose peach an blueberries and probably did close to 2 cups)
3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk or greek yogurt milk mix
Turbinado or sanding sugar for sprinkling (optional, not in the original recipe)

Preheat oven to 375°.
Place cubed butter in freezer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, measure other ingredients (except buttermilk and fruit) and mix in the bowl of a food processor. Add butter to processor bowl and mix until the butter and flour mixture are the texture of coarse cornmeal. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a mixer and add buttermilk and fruit, mixing on the lowest speed until the dough just comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently a couple times. Roll dough out to approximately one-inch thickness (I skipped the rolling pin and just patted it out with floured hands) and cut into squares or (cut cicles with your cup). Cut those squares again on the diagonal, creating triangles. Sprinkle with coarse sugar, if you’re using it.
Bake on an ungreased baking sheet 20 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I am not alone...

People are CRAZY about blogging about food. Just found a comprehensive list of
sites for you to check out:

Next on Grocery list- Lope!

When I was in highschool I always packed lunch and then some treats for my friends (I guess some habits I never grow out of :) ) One of Michelle's Stone's favorites was "Lope", just a simple chopped Canteloupe that my mom always had fresh on hand. Wonder if Chell would like this recipe?

Thai Cantaloupe Salad with Chile

Serves 8
1 large ripe, fragrant cantaloupe, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
1 diced jalapeno or (for more heat)
Thai red chile, seeded or not
1/3 cup thinly sliced basil leaves or cilantro
3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon fish sauce, or to taste
Generous pinch sugar
Course salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a large serving bowl, gently combine all the ingredients. Taste and add more lime juice, fish sauce, sugar or seasoning to taste. You can serve this with long bamboo skewers so people can spear chunks of cantaloupe from the bowl.

Look at what I just found!!!

So, how is excited are you to make these? Not half as excited as Scott is to eat them :)
Taken from one of favorite food blogs, A Mingling of Tastes, this recipe is a little less
healthy than my peaches but looks DELIGHTFUL!

Cinnamon Chipotle Brownies

Adapted from Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich

I used the 70% cocoa bars by Lindt. Use any good-quality chocolate you like, but I would recommend staying over 60% cocoa. Whether you grind the chipotle chiles yourself or use a powder, heat levels vary. Taste your chile powder and use more or less depending on your preference. If you use flaky sea salt or other coarse salt for baking, use the higher amount.

Makes 12 or 16 brownies

8 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
6 tablespoons butter, cut into 12 pieces
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with nonstick "release" foil or parchment paper (or use regular foil, then coat with cooking spray), letting at least 6 inches hang over two of the sides like handles.Put chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on medium-low power 45 seconds. Stir and continue to microwave in 15-20 second intervals, stirring each time, just until chocolate is smooth; be careful not to over heat. You can do this in a double boiler if you prefer. Set aside to cool slightly.Combine the flour, cinnamon, chile and salt in a bowl and whisk thoroughly. Set aside.In another bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer on high speed until thick and light-colored, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the chocolate. Gently fold in the flour mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 30 to 35 minutes (mine took exactly 32) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with little or no chocolate; toothpick should come out clean when inserted near the edge.Cool completely on a rack. To serve, use the foil handles to lift brownies out of pan. Cut into 12 or 16 pieces. Brownies freeze well.
I will let you know how they turn out!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Healthy Dessert... that I actually love!

For those of you that know me well you know that for food I am super healthy but when it comes to the sweets I LOVE a decadent, rich (often fattening)
dessert. The other night I actually made something light and refreshing that I liked.

Go figure...

Grilled Peaches with a Balsamic Honey Reduction
Half and coat peaches with olive oil. Throw on grill for about 5 minutes.
In a sauce pan reduce down balsamic vinager and honey to a syrup. Cover the
grill peaches and serve over vanilla yogurt. YUMMO!!!!!!!

Stuffed with Stuffed Salmon!

Yes, another Salmon recipe that gets Scott into my favorite seafood.
Stuffed Salmon is a weekly staple!
I take a filet of salmon and cut at a diagnal and stuff with the following:
Cooked, crumbled bacon
Creme Cheese (2 tablespoons)

Saute in pan with EVOO and then stuff.
I prefer to grill it as salmon can stink up house. Depending on cut takes anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. Watch it... I do hate an overcooked salmon!


Again, for this baby shower this weekend I made Edamame dip.
So YUMMY... and easy! I had made Lima Bean Dip for Jill's birthday
but wanted a little something different (and more green) for this green
and brown shower. I subbed out the edamame for limas...

Eda-Mommy Dip
1 bag edamame
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper
olive oil

Add garlic, edamame and seasoning to food processor. Add olive oil for consistency.
Add more seasoning before serving!

Serve with bread, crackers or veggies.

New Favorite Appetizer

Taken straight from BLOGHUNGRY, these savory sweet treats
were a hit at a baby show this past weekend.
Baked Brie Bites 1 pkg. puff pastry
1 egg
Medium wedge of brie
Small container of honey
2 thinly sliced and halved apples or pears
Small pkg. toasted walnut or pecan pieces

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Thaw pastry, unfold, dust with flour, and roll flat. Slice pastry into equal-sized squares. Place a cube of brie in the center of the square with 2-3 small slices of fruit, 3-4 pieces of nuts, and a drizzle of honey.

Fold corners of pastry into center and bunch edges together. In a small bowl beat egg with 1 Tbsp water. Brush egg mixture over pastry. Bake on a greased cookie sheet for 15 minutes or until golden