April 26, 2012

Peanut Butter and Jelly Streusel Muffins

Peanut Butter and Jelly Streusel Muffins

I’ve been making an effort to eat breakfast every morning. This is pretty difficult for several reasons: I’m not a morning person and even pouring a bowl of cereal can be too much to handle some days. Also, I’m just not very hungry in the mornings. A cup of coffee is more than enough to fill me up. For these reasons I have to cheat by making myself a “dessert” in the mornings. Basically, something that’s so good, I can’t pass it up. Since they can be made ahead of time, muffins are usually my go-to treat. I’ve made a lot of muffins in my time and they usually fall under delicious but unhealthy or healthy but dry and/or boring. With these peanut butter muffins I feel like I finally found the perfect compromise of healthy but still delicious.

These muffins are packed to gills with nutritious ingredients. They’re made with whole wheat flour and oats and they don’t have any processed sugar (though if you don’t have maple sugar you can use white sugar instead). The recipe doesn’t contain eggs, so the muffins can be made dairy-free with soy …

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January 20, 2011

Chipotle Chicken Chowder

Chipotle Chicken Chowder

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 …

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June 8, 2009

BBA Challenge: Artos and Bagels

I’m still chugging along with the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge. So far I’m (mostly) having fun and learning a lot.

Christopsomos

Christopsomos The second week bread was Artos or Greek Celebration bread. I really didn’t have any trouble at all with this bread because it was really similar to my King Cake except that Artos has a lot more spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves. The only trouble I had was the shaping, of course. I can tell it’s going to take a lot of practice to get good at shaping things because I’m just not good at that at all. The version of artos I did was called Christopsomos (though I made it plain, it’s technically supposed to have nuts and dried fruit in it), which is shaped into a boule (an oval, the only shape beside a loaf that I can do without much trouble), but then you roll out two strips of dough and lay them on top of the boule in a cross and then you split the ends and roll them …

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January 25, 2010

Easy Greek Chicken Casserole

Greek Chicken Casserole

The main reason this recipe caught my eye is because it’s a one pot meal that you can make in your Dutch oven. I’ve been wanting a Dutch oven for years and finally got one for Christmas so anytime I see a recipe that mentions a dutch oven, I’ll almost always give it a try. I couldn’t afford one of those uber expensive Le Creuset’s, so I wound up getting one from Lodge that looks almost exactly the same and is well made, but costs about a quarter less. So far I love it and use it as much as possible: soup, spaghetti sauce, chili, oatmeal, whole chicken. And now I have this new recipe to make in it.

September 12, 2012

Cheesy Broccoli and Corn Chowder

Cheesy Broccoli and Corn Chowder

I’ve said here many times that Fall is my favorite season. Summer can never be over fast enough for me. Usually, I’m ready to declare it Fall as of September 1st despite what the actual weather or calendar says. But this year is different. It’s weird. I almost feel like I’m cheating on Fall when I say this, but: I’m not ready for Summer to be over.

It’s not so much that this has been a great summer, in fact it’s been a pretty crappy summer filled with record high temps that chased me back into the safety of my air-conditioned apartment. No, the thing I’m regretting is that I missed out on all of the great produce. Looking back through my archives of last summer, I’m reminded of my Peach Dumplings and Blueberry Donut Muffins and Cantaloupe Pie. Because of the move to Nashville and my blogging hiatus I wasn’t able to cook or bake much at all this summer and I’m sad about that.

July 9, 2009

Balsamic Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic-Roasted Potatoes

Balsamic Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic-Roasted Potatoes

Brandon and I started on a diet a few weeks ago. And not one those “I’m eating more fruits and vegetables” kind of things, like an actual counting calories, keeping a food log kind of thing (though of course we are eating more fruits and vegetables, too). The first week was really scary because I thought it would be impossible to come up with a week’s worth of low-fat meals. But now in week 2, I’m realizing that I was very, very wrong. With the help of a couple of great cookbooks, I’m finding that it’s really not difficult and it doesn’t even take a lot of extra time. In fact, all the dishes I’ve made in the past few weeks take MUCH less time to make and both Brandon and I agree that they’ve been really good and filling. If someone else made these dishes for me, I wouldn’t even think they were supposed to be light. They’re just good recipes and they happen to be low fat as well.

Even though I’m on a diet, this isn’t going to …

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October 17, 2012

Easy Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

I’m so happy that the weather is cooler because now I can finally make my favorite comfort foods again. The list includes:

  1. Chicken and Dumplings
  2. Tortilla Soup
  3. Beef Stew or Roast Beef
  4. Roasted Chicken

Unfortunately, all of those recipes either heat up the kitchen too much or they’re just too hot to eat on a muggy summer day so I haven’t made them in what feels like forever. When I was excitedly making up a new weekly meal plan full of these recipes I realized I hadn’t yet shared one of my very favorite comfort foods: Barbecue Chicken!

Back when I lived in Florida, Brandon and I had a favorite barbecue restaurant nearby that we ate at regularly but when we moved to Charlottesville the nearest good barbecue was a 45 minute drive away. That’s when I started making this recipe so that we could still get our barbecue fix. Barbecue sounds like it could be time-consuming to make and in the past I have tried other recipes that took a lot longer which is why I love this recipe. You …

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July 27, 2009

BBA Challenge: Cinnamon Rolls and Raisin Bread

Cinnamon Rolls

It seems like every week I keep saying “this is my favorite”, but hands down, these two breads are my favorite from this challenge. A couple of reasons for this:

1. Both recipes were extremely easy. No waiting a day for pre-ferments, just mix up the ingredients, knead, shape, proof, bake and boom: you have yummy bread in about 4 hours.

2. They’re just good. Period. The raisin bread tasted just like the raisin bread you buy at the store. The cinnamon rolls were just amazing. I could have eaten about a million of them. In fact, after picking out the photos for this entry (it’s been a few weeks since I actually made them), I got such a craving for them that I had to make another batch.