May 5, 2011

Stuffed Poblanos

Stuffed Poblanos

Most of the time I don’t have the forethought to plan recipes related to holidays that aren’t Thanksgiving or Christmas, but I happened to make this for dinner a few days ago and I knew it would be perfect to post on Cinco de Mayo. And in fact, this dish is sort of a celebration for me because it signifies that I’ve finally graduated from the realm of the picky eaters! Chile peppers were my last big food phobia and I’m very happy to say this recipe has put all my fears to rest. And, even crazier, as I was shoveling a stuffed poblano into my mouth my main thought was that I wanted it to be spicier. Five years ago, I wouldn’t even touch bell peppers, so eating a dish with not one, but two kinds of chile peppers in it would have been crazy talk.

This recipe is like a healthier version of chile rellenos. It uses poblano chiles that don’t need to be charred or peeled or anything fussy like that. They’re hollowed out and stuffed with a mixture of black beans and cheese and then …

Read the Rest »


July 11, 2011

Peach Dumplings with Vanilla Cream Sauce

Peach Dumplings with Vanilla Cream Sauce

Summer will never be my favorite season due to the 90 degree temperature and humidity around here, but I can’t deny that summer produce is my favorite. Since I joined a CSA my kitchen has been overflowing with peaches, nectarines, plums, watermelon, cherries, blackberries and blueberries. I had to admit defeat last week and freeze the rest of my berries and cherries since I knew we weren’t going to be able to use them up before they went bad. But that still left me with a bunch of peaches that needed to be used ASAP.

When I mentioned that on twitter I got lots of suggestions for making a cobbler or pie. A cobbler would definitely be my first choice except I had just made one the previous week: a blackberry cobbler that I posted here years ago. I remade the recipe since I wanted to update the sad looking photos that accompanied it. I highly recommend it, so please check it out if you’re looking for a great cobbler recipe!

January 23, 2013

Lighter Shrimp Étouffée

Shrimp Etouffee

I don’t know about you, but it’s pretty cold where I am. And I’m down in Tennessee so if it’s cold for me, I know it’s lot colder for many others. When the temperatures get down this low all I want to eat are warm and comforting foods. I crave thick soups and stews or pot roast or chicken and dumplings. But it’s also January, and while I didn’t specifically make a New Year’s resolution to go on a diet, I definitely overindulged over the holidays and have been trying to eat better this month.

Thankfully, Cooking Light came to the rescue with their Comfort Food cookbook that I bought recently. Their Shrimp Etouffee is just the kind of warm and comforting dinner that I want when it’s below freezing outside but I can also feel good about eating it since the recipe has been lightened.

October 25, 2012

Apple, Pear & Quince Brown Betty

Apple, Pear & Quince Brown Betty

You know that saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?” Of course you do, everyone does, but I wonder how many people actually eat an apple every day? After eating poorly and—not surprisingly—feeling crappy all summer I’ve been making an effort to get my diet back on track and eating an apple every day was the first thing I decided to do. But not just apples, I’ve been making sure I have at least one fruit or vegetable with every meal. That includes dessert, too, which is where this wonderful Brown Betty comes in.

A Brown Betty is a dessert that’s similar to a crisp but instead of just having the awesome streusel-y part on the top you get several layers of it. Crisps are already one of my favorite desserts so a layered version is even better! Like a crisp, a brown betty is very simple and doesn’t take long to make. I’ve seen lots of variations but generally they consist of fruit and some kind of bread or cookie crumbs. I was inspired by …

Read the Rest »

November 16, 2010

Double Chocolate Cranberry Gingerbread Muffins

Double Chocolate Cranberry Gingerbread Muffins

In my attempt to eat less processed food during the day, I have been making a lot of muffins lately. They fit my criteria for easy food and as I mentioned in my last post, I love any kind of bread. The problem is they can get pretty unhealthy, so all the muffins I’ve been eating have been whole wheat, low-fat, filled with things like oats and applesauce and bananas. All of those muffins have been good, but when I was thinking about what kind of muffins I wanted to make this week, I was not in the mood for “healthy”. In fact, I had some very specific cravings: I wanted something similar to my favorite gingerbread muffins. I also knew I wanted to use the cranberries that I recently bought. And finally, I was craving chocolate because, well, it was a day of the week. (What can I say, I guess I’m a stereotypical female.)

January 19, 2010

Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I didn’t used to be a fan of soup. I don’t know if that was one of those things that I turned my nose up at when I was a kid or if my mom just wasn’t a soup person and so she never made it. Regardless, the only soup I ate for years and years and years was Campbell’s chicken noodle or tomato. But when I started cooking for myself, I figured out two important things about soup: It’s generally healthy (even the creamier ones still have vegetables) and it’s really easy to make. Throw some stuff in a pot and you just made soup! I realize that making soup probably isn’t a big deal for some people, but for me, who only ate soup from a can for 20 plus years? Making homemade soup is something I feel proud of, the same way I feel about making homemade bread.

This winter I’ve been craving lots of soup since we finally live in a place that gets cold, so I’ve been expanding my soup repertoire. I usually make it once a week but I’ve …

Read the Rest »

March 24, 2010

Lemonade Layer Cake

Lemonade Layer Cake

It’s been a while since I posted a dessert here, mainly because I’ve been trying to stay away from things like that, but also because I haven’t found anything that interested me. But since it’s the first week of Spring, I decided I wanted to make a dessert that was light and fruity, nothing chocolate or heavy (which is my usual preference for desserts). So when I was flipping though my beloved Cooking Light cookbook, this recipe jumped right out at me.

But I have a confession: I haven’t made many layer cakes before. Most of the ones I’ve tried have been unmitigated disasters with uneven and/or rounded layers and frosting catastrophes aplenty. So I was bracing myself for another un-perfect cake, but it turns out I didn’t need to worry. This cake should be called “Baby’s First Layer Cake”. Seriously, it’s really easy to make and I didn’t have any of the problems I normally have. For one, the tops didn’t puff up and get rounded like many cakes I’ve baked (I know I could slice them off, but let’s just say I’m not too …

Read the Rest »

December 14, 2012

Cranberry Dutch Baby Pancake with Orange Syrup

Cranberry Dutch Baby Pancake with Orange Syrup

Well, it’s that time of year again. The time that I buy bags and bags (and more bags) of cranberries and hoard them in my freezer. I was in Sam’s Club last month and they had the biggest bag of cranberries I’ve ever seen, it had to be at least 5 pounds. Since it was right before Thanksgiving I had absolutely no extra space in my freezer so I didn’t buy the giant bag of cranberries (even though I really wanted to). I figured I would get them later but, of course, the cranberries were nowhere to be found on my recent trips back to the store. Despite that, I still had several bags sitting in my freezer and I decided it was finally time to use them!

This dutch baby pancake has been one of my favorite go-to breakfasts (or more likely, breakfast-for-dinner) since I got my first cast-iron skillet. If you’ve never made one before, it’s sort of a giant pancake and an omelet combined. The batter is poured into a skillet and you …

Read the Rest »