April 22, 2008

orange mochacinno

orange mochacinno

I think I jinxed the weather here.

I brought out our patio furniture a couple weeks ago and enjoyed one glorious weekend out of them and now it's payback. We've had blizzard warnings all weekend long and we've been dumped with a bunch of snow. I can't even see my lounge chairs in my yard as they are covered under a pile of snow. Merry Christmas!

So when your handed lemons oranges, make lemon-aid an orange mochacinno!

I love orange and chocolate together and I enjoyed this drink right down to the last drop. I have to admit, I also licked the sides of the glass to get every last bit of chocolatey-orange foam too. That's how much I liked this :)

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orange mochacinno
serves 2

2 cups (500 mL) cold milk
2 oz. (60 grams) chocolate of your choice, chopped
4 oz (120 mL) fresh espresso
2 oranges, quartered
dash ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp grated orange peel

Froth milk and add chocolate. Blend until combined.

Pour espresso into 2 mugs. Squeeze juice from 2 orange quarters into the mug. Stir in dash of cinnamon.

Pour hot chocolate froth into espresso mixture. Garnish with more cinnamon and grated orange peel.

Adapted from: Orange-Kissed Mochaccino, Cappucino Cocktails Specialty Coffee Recipes and 'A-Whole-Latte' More!

April 17, 2008

ground beef with mushrooms in lettuce cups

ground beef with mushrooms in lettuce cups

Sometimes when I'm feeling in a lower carb mood, I make these. Often, I have leftover cooked ground beef so then I just add some mushrooms and extra spices to change it up. It's tasty and can be seasoned any which way to your liking. I prefer it on the saltier side.

Aside: Hell's Kitchen this season? WHERE did they get these dumb-dumbs? Holy shmoly! I really hope next week gives better results because it's sorta depressing watching such inexperience! But, yes I know, they only show the worst parts and paint the image that way but still! Wowsas!

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ground beef with mushrooms in lettuce cups

ground beef
garlic
minced onions
mushrooms
spice blend of cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Choose to your liking.
Head lettuce
chopped green onions

In a pan with some oil, saute up some garlic and onions. Add ground beef. Cook until almost all browned through. Add spices and mushrooms and cook until mushrooms slightly limp.

Serve onto lettuce cups, sprinkle with green onions.

April 11, 2008

whole wheat bread with pesto

whole wheat bread with pesto

Well, here's my final recipe to round out my pesto experience. I feel like I made a pesto pizza too but I don't remember. I certainly don't have a picture of it :)

I wanted to use pesto in a bread. First I thought of just putting the pesto sauce straight into the dough but I was a little apprehensive of how it would turn out, especially since I decided to make whole wheat bread. Didn't want a gummy dough producing a rock hard bread.

Very tasty with the pesto in the middle but I found that when I cut the dough, it wouldn't always stay in one piece. Eh, taste over structure :)

Have a great weekend folks!

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whole wheat bread with pesto
yields 2 loaves (with about 16 slices each)

1/3 cup +1 tbsp brown sugar
2 cups warm water
2 pkg of active dry yeast
5-6 cups of whole wheat flour
3/4 cup powdered milk
2 tsp salt
1/3 cup oil
about 1/2 cup pesto

Dissolve 1 tbsp brown sugar in warm water in small bowl. Add yeast and let stand.

Place 4 cups of flour, powdered milk, 1/3 cup brown sugar, and salt in mixer bowl. Knead for 15 seconds at speed 2 with dough hook. Next, while still mixing, add yeast mixture and oil and mix for another 1.5 minutes.

Add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough starts to clean slides(about 2 minutes). Mix for another 2 minutes.

Place dough in greased bowl, cover and let rise for about 1 hour.

Punch down, divide in half and roll out into a rectangle. Spread 1/2 the pesto onto the surface and then start to roll up lengthwise. Place on greased baking pan, pinch the ends under and place the seam alongside the bottom of the pan. Repeat with the other dough.

Let rise for another hour.

Bake at 400F for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 350F and bake for 20-30 minutes longer.

Remove from pans and let cool on racks.

Bread recipe from: Whole Grain Wheat Bread, Kitchenaid Instruction & Recipe Manual

April 8, 2008

spaghetti with pesto and vegetables

spaghetti with pesto and vegetables

I promised I'd have a recipe using pesto this week and, of course, pesto and pasta seem to go hand in hand!

I'm a big fan of vegetables so I try to incorportae them in almost every meal. My kids, they pick out the "red" (red pepper) but they'll usually eat most of their vegetables. Except they have both sworn off cauliflower. I don't really blame them, but that's probably because it's one of my less liked vegies too. I mean I'll eat it but not with great pleasure. (I've managed to never eat a brussel sprout, so that's why cauliflower is on the bottom of the list. However, I feel I should at least try it but the smell offends me. I feel I may give it a try this year yet. We'll see!)

Very yummy, no complaints. 2 thumbs up.

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An aside: To the few readers I have, I was wondering... any of you watching Hell's Kitchen? I finished watching last season's for the first time and am now hooked to the new season. Any thoughts? Love the show? Hate the show? I really like Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmare's too. I'm amazed by how many poorly run restaurants there are out there! Everyone and their dog thinks they can run a restaurant! Poor Chef Ramsay, I swear, he's going to have a heart attack. I'm amazed he hasn't already!

...

spaghetti with pesto and vegetables
makes 4

454 g (1 lb) whole wheat spaghetti (or adjust for you preference for 4 people)
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 carrots, sliced thinly
1 sweet red pepper, sliced thinly
1 small zuchinni, sliced thinly
1 - 1.5 cups of pesto sauce
parmeson cheese

Boil spaghetti as per directions on package.

Saute onions & carrots with oil of choice in hot pan for a minute. Add red peppers and zuchinni and stirfry for another minute or two.

Add pesto sauce and spaghetti (and any of the pasta water if needed to water down). Mix to distribute sauce.

Plate and dust with parmeson cheese.

April 3, 2008

pesto sauce

pesto

I have never made pesto sauce before and I think I tried it once in a dish, thus, I was very interested in making some myself.

I should have thought it through without jumping in gung-ho because this recipe makes a LARGE batch of pesto. I'll be blogging 2 more recipes in the upcoming week that showcases pesto. Resourceful, yes I am! I had to, we got tired of eating it on bread and crackers :)

Since I made such a large batch (gosh, I didn't realize how much leaves are really needed to fill up 4 cups!) , I substituted with some parsely since I didn't have enough basil leaves. One thing I would definitely change is the amount of oil that is put in this recipe. I was unimpressed with the amount it called for and if I did this again, I would really cut back the amount. I felt my intestines were well coated after eating this pesto.

Since making this recipe, it's like I notice pesto everywhere! Tv shows, cookbooks, blogs, etc! And so many variations to try... you can substitue almonds for pinenuts, substitue spinach instead of basil, how exciting!

But, next time, I'll make sure to make a smaller batch.

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pesto sauce
makes about 4 cups

2 cups basil leaves, well packed
2 cups parsely leaves, well packed
4 cloves garlic, lightly crushed and peeled
1 cup pine nuts
1-1/2 cups parmeson cheese, grated
1-1/2 cups olive oil **
salt and pepper to taste

** I recommend using a LOT less oil, but that's my preference.

Adapted from: pesto sauce website



April 1, 2008

saucer-size oatmeal cookie

saucer-size oatmeal cookie

Gosh. What a crazy past month or so. I feel like my poor ole food blog has been so neglected! Vacation, bed-ridden illness and just recently my hard drive past away. Yes, the hard drive with all my pictures!!!

But don't worry, I have a husband who is not just "extra"-ordinary but extraordinary as he has got me back up and running with ALL my pictures and links! He has them all restored. I really don't know what I would do without that man! YAY! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

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I have to rave about these cookies. I HEART them. I also have to admit that I don't really want to even share the recipe for them because I love them that much. I want the glory of people saying "that cookie is sooo good, can I have that recipe?" and I would then reply with "secret family recipe, sorry". Which would be totally false as I got it out of a great cookbook. *sigh*

Chewy inside, cruchy outside. Not too sweet, not too spicy. Perfect.

Here's the recipe. Enjoy. boo hoo :(

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saucer-size oatmeal cookie
makes 18 large cookies.


1-1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 cups old-fashioned oats
2 large eggs
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cups +2 Tbsp (~200g) butter, melted
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup cranberries
1 cup chocolate chip cookies or 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate in small chunks

Mix flour, baking powder, soda and oatmeal in a bowl. Beat eggs, salt and vanilla in a small bowl. Mix butter, oil and sugars in a large bowl.

Stir egg mixture into sugar mixture until smooth. Stir in flour mixture, then stir in cranberries and chocolate.

Measure out 3 tbsp (almost 1/4 cup) dough onto baking sheets with parchment paper. **

Bake for 16-18 minutes at 350F. Transfer cookies into wire rack to cool.

**I personally flattened out the dough but the original recipe does not call for that.

Recipe from: Saucer-Size Oatmeal Cookie, Perfect Recipes for Having People Over.
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