March 3, 2010

Individual Chicken Pot Pie

Individual Chicken Pot Pie

I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to post this recipe. I’ve been making it since last year . It’s one of my favorites and something I make regularly. I have another more traditional chicken pot pie recipe which I like a lot, but that recipe is most certainly not low fat so I don’t make it as much (usually only after holidays to use up the extra chicken/turkey). This recipe is a lighter version of chicken pot pie, but it tastes just as good. I got it from the Weight Watchers website and while I’ve made some modifications to it, it’s still pretty light, especially compared to other chicken pot pie recipes you’ll find.

As I’ve mentioned before, I love using ramekins to make individual portions of my favorite recipes. I’m not so good with the portion control so I like having things portioned out for me in advance. It’s just easier that way. You can make this in 4 small ramekins (10 oz.) or 2 large ramekins (20 …

Read the Rest »


February 9, 2010

Lentil Soup (with Bacon!)

Lentil Soup

Yep, I’m still obsessed with soup and things I can make in my Dutch oven so this recipe called out to me as I was flipping though the cookbook’s pages.

Also calling out to me? Bacon! Put some bacon in anything and I’m there. There’s not a lot of bacon, though, so this is still a relatively healthy soup. And if you took out the bacon it would still be hearty and filling thanks to the lentils and the vegetables.

With the exception of the lentils, which I personally had never eaten or bought before I made this recipe, it doesn’t have any other specialized ingredients. I had everything already sitting in my kitchen and I definitely prefer recipes where I can use ingredients I already have. I hate, hate, hate, buying a special ingredient for a recipe and then having the leftovers go bad or sit in my pantry collecting dust. (And now that I know I like lentils, I’m finding new recipes to make with them so they’re becoming a pantry staple along with kidney beans and black beans.)

December 21, 2009

Christmas Cookies!

Christmas Tree Cookies

I may have gone a bit cookie crazy. Besides my Peppermint Fudge Pinwheels, I have two more cookie recipes to share. Well, it’s more like one recipe and one technique, but I’ll get to that.

I’ve never been able to find a sugar cookie that I actually like. I’ve tried about a million and they all just taste blah to me. But I think that’s just the kind of person I am. Brandon told me the other day that I have tendency to put too much flavoring in the things I bake and that may be true, but I just want something that tastes like…something. I hate blah food. Even something that has too much flavor is better than something that doesn’t have any. But I think this is just that age old debate of people who like vanilla ice cream and people who like chocolate. Of course I choose chocolate! The only time I’ll eat vanilla ice cream is if it’s covered in fudge or caramel.

Anyway, I’m not sure I even have a point other than to say that this desire for flavor translates into everything I cook and share on this blog. I make a lot of stuff that I don’t share here because it’s boring or basic. I always try to find recipes that are fun (at least to me). Which leads me to these totally adorable Christmas Tree Cookies. They are fun and easy to make and did I mention how adorable they are? But that’s not even the best part of them. The original recipe was for plain ol’ sugar cookies, but of course I modified them! The best part is that they taste just like cinnamon graham crackers, which are my absolute favorite. And my boyfriend, Mr. You-put-too-much flavoring, actually said that these were perfect! And he hates cinnamon, so if he likes these cookies, anyone will.

Christmas Tree Cookies Christmas Tree Cookies

I bet these cookies would be fun to make if you have kids. You divide the dough into three rolls which you cover in green sugar, then after they’ve chilled for a while, you just sliced them up and bake. I think kids would definitely have fun assembling the little trees; I did and I’m almost 30 years old! These would be really festive and pretty for a party and they keep well in an air-tight container. As with all Betty Crocker cookies I’ve made (or maybe it’s just a personal preference?) I think these taste better the day after you bake them.

Christmas Cookies

The other kind of cookies I made are technically called Stained Glass cookies, but I’m not sure that’s really accurate, especially after I modified them. I have seen recipes for stained glass cookies that actually have a little transparent window of sugar in them and these are not like those at all. These are just your basic sugar cookie recipe, but you divide up the dough and color parts of it with food coloring.

You are supposed to cut out shapes with cookie cutters in the uncolored dough and then cut up the colored doughs into little squares and arrange them on top of the uncolored cut-outs so that it looks like a stained glass window. But OH MY GOD, that is tedious. Seriously, I did about 3 cookies like that and I was done. It took forever and the colored dough kept getting too soft so I had to keep freezing it every 5 minutes. I was about ready to shoot someone and that is not the attitude you should have when making Christmas cookies! It’s supposed to be fun, not mind-numbing. So I pretty much just gave up on the whole “stained glass” thing and just cut out circles and whatever else I wanted. Then I took the colored doughs and cut them with cookie cutters and added more little details. It was much more fun when I could just do what I wanted to.

Christmas Cookies Christmas Cookies

Despite all that work, the cookies that came out were pretty but they were blah. Just about the blandest sugar cookies I’ve ever tasted: they weren’t even that sweet! So I won’t be posting that recipe, but the technique is still interesting and fun (as long as you do what you want and don’t try to kill yourself being “perfect”), and it should work with your favorite sugar cookie recipe.

Read the Rest »

August 28, 2012

What I did on my Summer Vacation…plus Lemon Mousse with Strawberry Compote

Lemon Mousse with Strawberry Compote

The mousse is very simple mixture of lemon curd (which only takes about 15 minutes to make and can be made up to a week in advance) and whipped cream. So simple! I make a big batch of lemon curd at the beginning of the week, then when dessert time rolls around I whip up a little cream and mix in a few heaping spoonfuls of curd. In 5 minutes you have a smooth-silky-light-fluffy-sweet-tart lemony treat. Bonus: the extra lemon curd is fantastic in yogurt, slathered on cake or muffins or just eaten by the spoonful!

And be sure to try this with Meyer Lemons when they’re in season again next year. I was lucky enough to find Meyer lemons very late in the season and this was one of the first things I made with them.

May 20, 2009

Bread Bakers Apprentice Challenge: Anadama Bread

Anadama Bread

So I decided to do something a little crazy. The awesome Nicole at Pinch My Salt started a group to make every single recipe in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart. When she first announced it on Twitter, I was interested but ultimately decided it would be too much work. But then more and more people started joining with her and I kept thinking about it until she announced she was closing the group to new members. As soon as I heard that it made me realize how much I wanted to do this, so I emailed her immediately to join the group.

January 10, 2011

Berry-Orange Crunch Muffins

Berry-Orange Crunch Muffins

Happy New Year, everyone! It’s time for my semi-annual I’m-going-to-get-in-shape-I-really-mean-it-this-time, so you’ll have to indulge me while I post some healthier recipes over the next few months. (Don’t worry, there will still be treats! I’d never give up dessert, I just find ones that aren’t as bad for you.) Honestly, I really overindulged on cheesecake and cookies last month, so I’m ready to get back to eating better and eating less processed food. I’ve been eating a piece of fruit for dessert every day this past week and it’s been perfection.

I’m always looking for easy things to have in the morning with my coffee and muffins are definitely my favorite. Unfortunately, a lot of muffin recipes are not that healthy. And of course, my favorite kinds of muffins have things like streusal on them which make them even worse for you. These muffins surprised me because they contain healthy, but not tasty, sounding things like whole wheat flour, flaxseed and oats and yet they are delicious.

July 7, 2010

Marbled Chocolate Banana Muffins with Chocolate Graham Cracker Streusel

Marbled Chocolate Banana Muffins with Chocolate Graham Cracker Streusal

I did it again. I bought a bunch of bananas and let them sit there until they looked worse and worse. Tell me I’m not the only one who does that? Please? In the grand scheme of things bananas are cheap, but still…starving kids in blahblah and all that…so I always feel bad about wasting food. I cannot tell you how much I didn’t want to make banana bread, though. I don’t even really like banana bread, I much prefer my mom’s applesauce bread. But what do you make with mushy bananas besides banana bread? I searched for alternatives but didn’t find anything interesting that I had all the ingredients for or that wasn’t a million calories.

Since I was stuck with banana bread, my next thought was that I should do something to make it less banana-y. Of course, chocolate popped right into my head. Chocolate makes everything better. You might know I’m kinda obsessed with marbled chocolate desserts, so I decided to do a marbled chocolate banana muffin. It’s just more …

Read the Rest »

December 1, 2008

Easy Chili with Honey Cornbread

Easy Chili and Honey Cornbread

Who’s tired of turkey? I am, I am! I’ve eaten nothing but turkey and leftovers since Thursday and I’m ready for something new. The problem is that after preparing such a big meal last week, I am not in the mood to make anything complicated or time consuming. For times like this, I have my two old standbys: my mom’s spaghetti and chili. It was rainy and cold all day, so that translates to the perfect weather for some chili.

Now, I’ll be the first to tell you that this is not some mind-blowing recipe for chili. There are probably tons of more creative recipes out there. But I’ve been making this stuff forever and it tastes great and gets the job done. I like it because I can make it up in 10 minutes in the afternoon and let it simmer until dinner time or if I didn’t remember to make it early I can whip it up, cook for less than 30 minutes and it’s still good. For my money, it’s better if you let it simmer for at …

Read the Rest »