March 16, 2011
After last week’s fried indulgence, I wanted to make something totally guilt-free that used up a bunch of fruit I had sitting in my fridge and freezer. I’m always on the lookout for homemade versions of the store bought snacks I love, so after reading this post about Fruit Bars I immediately headed down to the kitchen to make my own.
I am so glad to have found this recipe because I will never need to buy fruit bars at the grocery store ever again. These taste so much better than anything store bought and they are filled with natural ingredients.
My bars have a crust of ground up almonds and oats along with flour and just enough butter. It’s like a healthier version of shortbread, but it tastes just as good. I had lots of berries and some beautiful blood oranges so I made two different fruit fillings: cranberry-orange and blueberry-orange. The fruit is cooked with some juice, sugar and cornstarch until it thickens and then it’s poured on top of the crust. The fruit is topped with a streusal made with that …
March 9, 2011
I meant to post this recipe yesterday since it was Mardi Gras and beignets are pretty synonymous with New Orleans. Better late than never, right? I grew up on the Mississippi gulf coast (where they also celebrate Mardi Gras) and have spent some time in New Orleans so I know what a good beignet tastes like and this recipe is pretty perfect, but I put my own spin on it by adding some chocolate in middle. Why? I don’t know. Is “because it sounded like it would be awesome” a good enough answer for you? Because it really did (And guess what? It really is!)
But lets back up a bit. It’s possible some of you may not know what a beignet is, maybe you’re not even sure how to pronounce it. It’s very simple, actually: it’s a donut, covered in lots of powdered sugar. And it’s pronounced benYAY. You will really want to emphasize that “Yay” because eating these will make you a very happy person. A beignet is sort of the lazyman’s donut. I can just imagine some old french baker going …
March 2, 2011
I generally put a lot of effort into making dinner. I comb through my cookbooks and bookmarks to come up with a meal plan every week and I try to make dinner most nights so that we won’t go out to eat instead. Brandon is a good sous chef and helps me prep everything, but sometimes I’m just not in the mood to put in all the effort, so over the past couple of years I have gathered a bunch of go-to recipes just for this occasion. I keep the ingredients in stock so that if I’m tired or I forgot to defrost the meat for my planned recipe or whatever else goes wrong, I can pull them out and have dinner within an hour. This is one such meal and probably the one I default to the most. I realized I had never blogged about it, which felt weird since we eat it so much. But I think it’s because these chicken tenders are so good that I’ve never wanted to bother with photographing them when I could be eating them …
February 22, 2011
To celebrate Valentine’s Day and my birthday, Brandon and I spent a wonderful weekend in a little cottage I rented in the mountains a few hours away. It was such a fun getaway: we did some hiking, we drove around and got lost and we spent a lot of time soaking in the hot tub. When we got back home on Sunday afternoon, I wanted to make myself a birthday cake but after such a relaxing weekend I didn’t want to deal with complicated recipes or put time into making something that didn’t turn out great. That’s why I love the internet and recipe sites with reviews like Epicurious. I mean, if you can find a cake that has 1,400+ mostly raving reviews, that has to be a good cake, right?
I am very glad to have found this recipe because those reviewers were right: I now have my ultimate chocolate cake. I honestly can’t imagine another cake being able to surpass it. It’s made with coffee and oil which result in an extremely moist and soft, but dense cake. I’m pretty picky about my …
February 9, 2011
I wasn’t able to post last week due to my work load being particularly crazy lately, so this week you get two recipes! I’ve been good about eating better and counting my Weight Watchers points for the past month, but sometimes I just get a craving for chocolate that won’t go away. Especially now since it’s almost Valentine’s Day and there are lots of chocolate recipes floating around trying to tempt me. That’s when I head to my trusty Cooking Light cookbooks because they always have really satisfying desserts that won’t kill my diet. Both recipes I’m sharing today are rich and chocolatey and will satisfy your worst chocolate craving, but they happen to be quite low in fat and calories so you don’t have to feel bad about eating either of them!
January 26, 2011
Streusal is probably one of my most favorite words to say as well as one of my favorite things to eat. But now I have a new favorite word: Kuchen. Kuchen just means cake in German, but it’s so much more fun to call it kuchen, isn’t it? Whatever you want to call this recipe, it’s really good and very easy to make. It got the Brandon seal of approval and he rarely likes fruit-filled cakes, especially ones with cranberry. He said it tasted way too good to be a light recipe, but it is, so you don’t even have to feel guilty about eating it!
This is basically a coffee cake, but it doesn’t matter if you eat it for breakfast or dessert. I would venture to guess that you’ll want to have it both times! It’s an extremely moist cake, filled with caramelized pears and dried cranberries and then topped with a delicious streusal topping (I added some oats to give it a bit of crunch and make it healthier). You can also make this recipe with apples and raisins if that’s more …
January 20, 2011
Since last fall I’ve tried a ton of soup recipes looking for that one perfect soup. A soup recipe that could stand up against my absolute favorite: Chicken Tortilla Soup. I’ve found quite a few good soups, even some great ones, but nothing that I loved as much as that tortilla soup. But, finally, after months of looking I think I may have found it. I’m not sure I’d say I like it more than tortilla soup, but it’s definitely tied with it now.
I would call this chowder a cousin to that tortilla soup. They are different and yet quite similar. That’s probably why I like it so much. Both have a base of pureed vegetables, but this one doesn’t have tomatoes in the base like the tortilla soup does. This chowder is much creamier and has potatoes, which only makes me love it more. I’ve made this recipe several times and adapted it a bit by adding some corn and a bell pepper to make it even heartier. And don’t be scared off by the chipotle part! This only …