Sunday, January 31, 2016

Summer Spinach Salad

5 oz (1/2 bag) spinach
1 granny smith apple, thinly sliced
1 tsp lemon juice (for apples)
1 can mandarin oranges (or fresh cutie slices)
3/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup crumbled feta
1/3 cup toasted pecans
1 cup pomegranate seeds (optional)
1/2 avocado (optional)

dressing:

4 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
3-4 tsp sugar, or splenda, or honey
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp onion powder
1 Tbsp poppy seeds

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Chicken Picatta w/ Lemon Noodles

This is a Pioneer Woman recipe with some small changes.  The way we made it knocked our socks off, so we're not changing a thing!

Buttery Lemon Noodles:
8 ounces pasta (fettuccine, linguine, angel hair, egg noodles)
1 tablespoon butter
Zest and juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chicken Piccata:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (butterflied)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth, plus more if needed
1/2 cup Martinellis Apple Cider
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon drained capers

For the buttery lemon noodles: Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

For the chicken piccata: Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides, then dredge in the flour.

Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the chicken breasts until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes on each side; fry them a little longer if the breasts are thicker, monitoring the oil/butter mixture to make sure it doesn't burn. Remove the chicken to a plate.

Add the garlic to the skillet and saute. Pour in the chicken broth and cider, and squeeze in the juice of the lemon. Whisk the sauce, scraping the bottom of the skillet. Allow the sauce to cook and bubble and thicken until reduced by about half. Sprinkle in a little salt and pepper as it's cooking.

Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the cream. Add the capers, then cook for a couple of minutes until the sauce thickens. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Expect the sauce to have a real tang to it; counter it with a little more broth and cream if it's too strong!

To finish the noodles, melt the butter in a separate skillet over medium-high heat. Throw in the cooked pasta. Cook it in the butter for a couple of minutes so that a few of the noodles get a little bit of a pan-fried texture to them. Grate in some lemon zest and squeeze in some lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Mexican Green Rice (Arroz Verde)

Recipe credit: Rebecca Cooper

This should be the ONLY rice I ever make.  It's that good!  Distinct cilantro taste, and invisible spinach nutrients.

1/2 cup tightly packed cilantro
1 cup tightly packed spinach
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 1/4 cups milk
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups rice

1. Put cilantro, spinach, and broth in blender and blend until pureed.  Add milk and salt and blend until well combined.
2. Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet.  When butter is milted, add rice and saute until brown (3-4 minutes). Stir constantly.  Add onion and garlic and cook for 1 more minute.  Add cilantro/spinach mix, stir well, bring to a boil.
3. Cover, turn to low. Cook 20 minutes. Take pan off heat and let rice steam in the covered pan for 10 minutes.

Chickpea Farro Spinach Soup

  • Chickpea Farro Spinach Soup
  • (Twopeasandtheirpod recipe)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 (15 oz) cans vegetable broth
  • 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes with juices
  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked farro
  • 1 cup packed baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, grated, for serving, optional

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and bay leaves and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  2.  Stir in the broth, tomatoes, chickpeas, basil, and oregano. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes to blend the flavors. Add the farro and spinach and stir just until the spinach is wilted. Season the soup with salt and pepper, to taste. Ladle into soup bowls and serve warm. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Note-to cook the farro, rinse and drain 3/4 cup farro. Place in a pot and add enough water to cover. Add a little salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 25 minutes. Drain any excess water. OR you can buy Trader Joe's 10 minute farro, it is my favorite and only takes 10 minutes to cook. For vegan, omit the Parmesan cheese.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Quick and Easy French Bread

This is a recipe I found on urbanstrawberries.wordpress.com. 
Ingredients
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp. yeast
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
5 1/2 cups flour
1 egg white (or 2 Tbsp olive oil)
DirectionsPreheat oven to 450*F.
In a large bowl, mix warm water and yeast until yeast has dissolved.  Next add sugar, salt and flour. Knead ingredients together till it’s a soft uniform dough.
Now place a thin towel over the bowl with the dough in it and let it rise in a warm place for 15-30 minutes.
Separate dough into two, and begin shaping dough into long loaves, and place on a baking sheet.
Make slits with a knife and brush with egg white or olive oil. If you are garnishing with herbs or cheese, do so now.
Cover the dough with the towel once more and let rise 5 minutes or so (the longer the better).
Remove towel, and bake for 12-15 minutes or until tops are brown and crusty. I did 19 minutes.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Pork & Veggie Eggrolls

This started as an attempt to make Lumpia, a Filipino eggroll, I ate a lot as a teenager in the Bay Area. Alas, there are no lumpia wrappers to be found around here, so I ended up using eggroll wrappers....which means they are eggrolls, not lumpia. But they turned out AWESOME! I'd seen several people comment on some lumpia recipes that they added cilantro for an extra kick, and I DO love cilantro, so I went for it. These did NOT disappoint. I'm already craving them again and it hasn't been a week! To be completely honest, adding the onion powder was a mistake (I thought I'd grabbed the garlic powder). But, the end result was so yummy, I'm keeping the onion powder in there.

1 lb ground pork, browned and set aside (drain grease, leaving just enough to coat the skillet for veggies)

Add to skillet:
1/2 cup onion, minced (I just tossed everything in the food processor)
1/2 cup carrot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced (or 2 tsp minced garlic from a jar)

Saute 2-3 minutes, then add:

1/2 cup cabbage, minced
1/2 cup green onions, minced
1/2 cup cilantro, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp soy sauce

Saute another 2 minutes and add pork back in, stirring to combine.

Scoop 3 Tbsp onto each eggroll wrapper and roll up.
Cook for 5 minutes or until golden brown in vegetable oil that is 375 degrees (medium heat).

A good sweet chile sauce from the asian market will put this over the top, but it's pretty good even without the sauce. We bought something called 'Dragon Fly Sweet Chile Sauce.' Makes 15 large eggrolls Note: These should freeze well. Store wrapped rolls in freezer bag, then thaw before frying. Next time I'm going to freeze half so we have 2 meals for the prep time of 1.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Petite Vanilla Scones (Starbucks copy)

For the scone:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, diced
1 small box (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 vanilla bean, scraped (or 1 Tbsp vanilla extract)
1 large egg
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp heavy cream

For frosting:
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2-3 Tbsp heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt in a large bowl. Add cold butter and cut it in using a pastry blender or two butter knives until it forms small crumbs.

Stir in pudding mix, Make a well in the center of the mixture and add vanilla, egg, and 1/2 cup heavy cream. Stir gently with a fork until just incorporated. Bring the dough together with your hands.

Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface.  Form into two small rounds. Cut each round into 8 triangles and place on prepared baking sheet. Brush each triangle with a little of the remaining 1 Tbsp cream. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes until just golden. Cool before frosting.

To make the frosting: Beat butter and sugar with a hand mixer until crumbly. Beat in vanilla and 2 Tbsp cream.  Add more cream as needed for desired consistency. Frost cooled scones with a knife.  Let frosting harden, then serve.