Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fall Frappe's

I apologize for the lack of posts recently, we went on our first family vacation to St. Louis. While on vacation I decided to take it quite literal and do nothing that was not family oriented. But now that vacation is over and it's time to get back to work. I thought it appropriate for some caffeine and to do a personal favorite from Starbucks, the Pumpkin Pie Frappe! It's a shame this drink is seasonal because it's one of my favorites. I also did another seasonal Frappe for my wife, she was a bit hesitant about the Pumpkin Pie Frappe until she tried one while on vacation, so for her I did the Gingerbread Latte Frappe. Now I found both these recipes on the online site for the Mr. Coffee Frappe maker, they've got quite a few other recipes that are not in the cook book that accompanies the maker.

Pumpkin Pie Frappe

Coffee & Water in brewer:
3 tbsp ground dark roast coffee or espresso
1/2 cup water

Place ingredients in blender jar in this order:
2 cups ice cubes
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tbsp canned pumpkin puree
1/2  tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/3 cup evaporated milk or half and half
tip: Three tablespoons canned pumpkin pie filling can also be used in place of 3 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree

Gingerbread Latte Frappe

Coffee & water in brewer:
3 tbsp ground dark roast coffee or espresso
1/2 cup water

Place ingredients in blender jar in this order:
2 cups ice cubes
3 tbsp packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1 to 2 pinches ground cinnamon
1 to 2 pinches ground cloves
1/4 cup half and half or whole milk

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Choclate Chip Cookies

I chose to do this recipe out of pure indulgence for something sweet and naughty, so much for sticking with the diet this week. It all started when I was at the grocery store picking up a few items that some how managed to get left of the grocery list that week. I made the mistake of walking down the baking aisle and when I passed the bags of chocolate chips they mysteriously jumped into my cart. I swear! Now this is the point where all rationality was lost and my sweet tooth, which I'm know for having a sever case of, won out.

This recipe comes from the Kitchen Aide Stand Mixer recipe book, and I need to find a recipe that makes far fewer cookies. The cook book list the servings at 54, while I didn't count them I would suspect I made in the neighborhood of 48-50. So as not to look like a complete pig, I packaged some up and sent them home with my in-laws.

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 cups flour
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

Place sugars, butter, eggs, and vanilla in mixer bowl. Attach bowl and flat beater to mixer. Turn to speed 2 and mix about 30 seconds. Stop and scrape bowl. Turn to Speed 4 and beat about 30 seconds. Stop and scrape bowl.
Turn to Stir Speed. Gradually add baking soda, salt, and flour to sugar mixture and mix about 2 minutes. Turn to Speed 2 and mix about 30 seconds. Stop and scrape bowl. Add chocolate chips. Turn to Stir Speed and mix about 15 seconds.
Drop rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 degrees F four 10  to 12 minutes. Remove from baking sheets immediately and cool on wire racks.

Now I'm sure not everyone really wants to know how the nutrition value of these chocolate chip cookies, but since it's listed in the cookbook, here you go.
1 Cookie Per Servings:about 117 calories, 1 G protein, 17 G carb, 5G fat, 8 mg Chol, 106 mg Sodium

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Blueberry Lemon Muffins

Here's another recipe from Deceptively Delicious! I made these for a food day my wife was having at work last week. The muffins came out great; they were light, fluffy, and tasted like a blueberry muffin with out vegetable purees hidden in them. My little girl loved them, which is no surprise, because she loves blueberries and anything with whole blueberries mixed in.

Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar4tbsp trans-fat-free soft tub margarine spread, chilled1 cup low fat lemon yogurt
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup yellow squash puree(I substituted cauliflower puree with great results)
1 large egg
2 tsp pure lemon extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup flax sed meal
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper baking cups.
2. In a large bowl, beat the sugar and the margarine with a wooden spoon. Stir in the yogurt, blueberries, yellow squash puree, egg, lemon extract, and lemon zest.
3. Add the flour, flaxseed meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir just to combine, but do not overmix, the batter is supposed to be lumpy.
4. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake until the tops of the muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted i nthe center, 13 to 16 minutes. Turn the muffins out onto a roack to cool.
5. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or wrap individually and freeze for up to 1 month.

Homemade Apple Pie

This past weekend was the first weekend the local apple orchards were open for self picking of the apples. We had tried to attend last year, but unfortunately were just not able to make it in time, so this year we were on the ball to make sure we made time to go. We all had a blast picking apples, playing with a little play house they had there, and we almost came home with a kitten; thankfully they weren't old enough to be adopted. When we got home I knew just what needed to be done with the fresh picked apples, apple pie. I've made apple pie before and used a store bought pie crust, but I decided making pie crust is a skill I need to learn. I scoured my cook books and the internet and finally found a recipe that would work for the ingredients I had on hand. I don't use, therefore I don't keep, shortening in my kitchen. I do however try to keep plenty of butter, or imitation butter anyway, on hand.
For my first attempt at making a pie crust I think I did a pretty good job. It was a little tough and dry especially around edge, so I may have used a little to much flour and will have to try to use less next time.

The pie filling came out wonderful! The spices were great, the apples were cooked through, and it was so juicy. The only thing that was missing was a scoop of vanilla ice cream to with it.  That day was a perfect fall day, the temperature was on the cool side and the house was filled with the smell of baked apples and cinnamon.

Butter Pie Crust
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flout
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and diced
1/4 cup ice water

1. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
2. Roll dough out to fit a 9 inch pie plate. Place crust in pie plate. Press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the pie plate.

Apple Pie Filling
5-6 cups sliced apples
1/8 tsp salt
1/2-2/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1-1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Line a 9 inch pie pan with crust. Peel and slice apples into thin pieces. Combine sugar, salt, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir apple slices in until they are well coated. Place the apples in layers in the pie shell. Cover with upper crust. Be sure to prick holes in it for venting. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 35-50 minutes more until done.

Monday, September 13, 2010

15-Minute Chicken & Rice Dinner

I love any meal that has utilizes a minimal number of utensils and this recipe from Campbell's Kitchen does just that. I kept a rough cook time of approximately 20 minutes, which comes more from the fact that I'm still learning how to cook in a skillet with out setting off the smoke detectors.

1tbsp vegetable oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)
1 can (10-3/4 oz.) Campbell's Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
1-1/2 cups water
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 cups uncooked instant white rice
2 cups fresh or frozen broccoli florets

Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 10 minutes or until well browned on both sides. Remove the chicken from the skillet.

Stir the soup, water, paprika and black pepper in the skillet and heat to a boil. Stir in the rice and broccoli. Reduce the heat to low. Return the chicken to the skillet. Sprinkle the chicken with additional paprika and black pepper. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Roll Ups!

This dish has become a staple at all family get together, it's always the first thing my wife is asked to bring. So when I told her I wanted to do some quick and easy snacks for a football game, she quickly volunteered herself to make these.

Flour burrito tortilla shells
1 tub of Whipped Cream Cheese
Garlic salt
Dried Beef

Lay a tortilla shell out and smear with cream cheese covering the entire shell. Then season the cream cheese to taste with garlic salt. Next lay a line of dried beef across the center of the shell, from one side to the other. Finally, take an edge opposite of the dried beef and roll the tortilla shell up. Slice the tortilla into approximately one inch slices.
As you can see, we barely got a photo of these that's how popular these are. In fact one package of tortilla shells and a small tub of cream cheese will feed only 4 people, so be prepared to double or even triple this recipe.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Football Snacks!!

Football season has officially begun tonight with the Saints vs. Vikings and I thought it would be appropriate to give mention to a couple of oldie's but goodies. Yup you guessed it, Rotel and Smokey Sausages in BBQ sauce.  Both these dishes seem to be a staple at any football party and for some unknown reason, no party would be complete with out them. I guess one could say their as American as apple pie. So here's to football season, may the best team win!

All you need is a can of Rotel, Velveeta, and a bag of your favorite chips. Dice the Velveeta into chunks, pour the Rotel over the cheese, and microwave till soft.
The wonderful thing about this dish, is it gives you an excuse to eat a large amount of your favorite BBQ sauce, just what I need! I used KC Masterpiece Honey BBQ sauce and one package of Smokey Sausages, it made served 4 people.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

French Toast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and nothings better then a meal that will fill you up and stick with you, and french toast has always done that for me. I got this recipe from Deceptively Delicious, as I have only made french toast on a very few occasions with results I was less then happy with. We decided to have breakfast for dinner to mix it up a little, needless to say it was enjoyed by all.

4 large eggs
2tbsp banana or pineapple or sweet potato or carrot or butternut squash puree or canned pumpkin (Make sure its on the watery side so it mixes well with the eggs)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 slices whole-wheat bread
Nonstick cooking spray
2 tsp trans-fat-free soft tub margarine spread
Pure maple syrup, confectioner's sugar, or fresh fruit, for serving
Flaxseed meal (optional)

1. In a shallow bowl, whisk the eggs, puree, and cinnamon. Add the bread slices and turn them in the mixture to soak for 30 seconds to 1 minute (any longer and the bread will get soggy).

2. Coat a nonstick griddle or large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set it over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the margarine. When the margarine sizzles, add the soaked bread slices (sprinkle with flaxseed if you like) and cook until golden brown on the outside, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve warm with syrup, confectioners' sugar, or fruit.
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