February 15, 2010

Tasty and Heart Healthy Waffles with Blackberry Syrup

Heart Healthy Waffles with Blackberry Syrup

I got up yesterday wanting to make a special breakfast for Brandon on Valentine’s Day, but I didn’t have to look to hard find something I wanted to make: my new favorite waffle recipe practically called out to me from the page in my cookbook and I couldn’t resist. In the past waffles were reserved only for special days because despite how yummy they are, they aren’t the most healthy breakfast in the world. Since Brandon and I are both dieting, waffles would normally be out the question. But now that I’ve found this recipe I can make waffles every weekend and we don’t have to feel guilty about eating them!

These waffles are half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour, wheat germ and ground flaxseed (which is especially heart healthy). But despite sounding very…well…wheat-y, they don’t taste like it all. They taste like normal waffles, except that the whole wheat adds another dimension to them. These are sweeter, lighter and fluffier than my normal waffle recipe. I usually drown my waffles in syrup, but I’ve found with these I don’t want to. …

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March 16, 2011

Berry-Orange Fruity Oaty Bars

Fruity Oaty Bars

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 …

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February 29, 2012

Spicy Garlic Roasted Shrimp on Lemon-Parmesan Orzo

Spicy Garlic Roasted Shrimp on Lemon-Parmesan Orzo

I enjoy cooking but since I only taught myself to cook through sheer force of will, a bookshelf full of cookbooks and lots of food blogs some of my technical cooking skills are pretty lacking. Baking comes to me pretty naturally but I still struggle a lot with cooking. I think it’s because baking is mostly linear: you mix all the dry ingredients, then you mix all the wet ingredients, then you mix them all together, etc. Cooking seems to have a lot more multitasking: cook this in a pot and while you’re doing that saute this other stuff in the skillet and while you’re doing that chop this stuff up and on and on. I cannot tell you how much that stresses me out! That’s why I’m a much more adventurous baker than cook. My favorite dinner recipes are the ones that are as simple as possible. But just because something is simple doesn’t mean it can’t be great. That’s definitely the case for this roasted shrimp recipe.

I’ve made several different versions of this recipe in the past — always cooking the shrimp in a skillet — …

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August 20, 2009

Light Strawberry-Lemon Muffins

img class=”centered” src=”http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2463/3840762246_ddca3e4635.jpg” alt=”Light Strawberry-Lemon Muffins” width=”500″ height=”376″/>

Well, summer is almost over and strawberry season has ended, and every time I go to the grocery store they always seem to be having a sale on their strawberries, obviously trying to get rid of them as fast as possible. But looking closely at the strawberries, many are bruised or mushy and just don’t look that great. Definitely not something I’d want to display on a strawberry tart. But I have a hard time passing up such a good deal, so I buy these sad looking strawberries and immediately freeze them when I get home for use in smoothies or granita.

But sometimes this means I’ll look in the freezer and see that I have way too many strawberries. I came upon this recipe a while ago when I was looking for a recipe to use up some of these strawberries. It’s pretty much the easiest recipe in the world. You mix up the wet ingredients, including the strawberries, in a blender and combine that with the dry ingredients and you’re done. It’s takes about 5 minutes to make these.

July 17, 2008

On Failed Recipes

Is it is just me or is it really depressing when you spend a bunch of time to make a new recipe and then it tastes awful?  I think this is one the main reasons I’ve never been a very adventurous eater.  I find things I like and I eat them over and over.  Maybe it gets a little boring to eat the same stuff, but at least I don’t have the disappointed (and hungry) feeling when I try something new and it turns out badly.

But the thing is I am trying to be a more adventurous eater, and I’ve actually been really lucky with all the new recipes I’ve tried since I started cooking.  Until now.  This week I’ve made two things that I just couldn’t finish eating.  And it’s not that I cooked them wrong, it’s that I didn’t like the taste.  Luckily, I think I can make some ingredient changes in both that would make them better.  I guess that’s part of the fun of cooking, though?  Trying new things, seeing what works and what doesn’t.  And hopefully that disappointed feeling doesn’t stay long because instead of dwelling, I’m thinking of ways to make it better next …

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June 5, 2009

Pink Grapefruit and Strawberry Granita

Pink Grapefruit and Strawberry Granita

I have a very obsessive personality. It tends to invade all aspects of my life from how I work to the music I listen to and the amount of time I spend on the internet or how much TV I watch. (I’m not a “casual” TV viewer at all, I either have to see every episode of a show from the very beginning or I don’t watch it at all; I HATE missing episodes and I’ll only start watching a show in it’s second or later seasons if I can catch up by watching the DVDs of previous seasons first.)

But my obsessive personality has a really big effect on how I eat. It’s probably one of the reasons I’ve always been such a picky eater. When I decide I don’t like something, then that’s it, I don’t eat it again. Ever. I haven’t eaten a carrot in 20 years because once in elementary school I threw up in the cafeteria after eating them. Recently I decided I should give it another try, but no, it was just as bad as I remember. (I used …

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August 29, 2011

Roasted Yellow Tomato Soup

Roasted Yellow Tomato Soup

Remember when I said I was excited about making soup this fall? Well, the prospect of soup sounded so good that I may have jumped the gun a little. But that’s ok because this might as well be called “Summer’s Almost Over Soup.” It’s full of fresh and bright summer produce but it’s warm and hearty and creamy and perfect for those late summer evenings when the temperatures are finally starting to drop.

I really wasn’t expecting this soup to be so good, I was just trying to use up the two weeks worth of yellow tomatoes from my CSA and this recipe fit the bill. I wound up changing the original recipe quite a bit, though. That’s what I love about soup, you can almost always add your own spin to it without risking messing it up completely. For instance, if you can’t get your hands on yellow tomatoes, I’m sure regular tomatoes would work just fine.

November 12, 2009

Low Fat Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins

Pumpkin Apple Streusal Muffins

Remember when I said I wanted to try out more things with pumpkin in them. Well, be prepared because I’ve gone a little pumpkin crazy. I had a giant can of pumpkin pie mix that I used for those cupcakes and still had a bunch left over afterward so I went in search for some muffins to use up the rest. But those cupcakes were decidedly not good for you and I wanted to make something that I wouldn’t feel guilty about eating. But it still needs to taste good, you know? Well, this recipe totally satisfies both of those requirements.

Basically, I found a recipe that sounded good and I “healthed” it up. I replaced some of the white flour with wheat flour and I substituted the oil with applesauce. That might make these sound kind of boring, but it’s the streusal that makes them awesome. That’s the only part that I didn’t try to fix. In fact, I doubled the amount of streusal because it’s the best part. Even doing that, these are still only about 2 …

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