Sunday, August 6, 2017

Amazing Peanut Butter Cookies

These are the easiest and yummiest peanut butter cookies! A friend recently gave me this recipe. I was extremely skeptical at first, based on the simplicity of the ingredients, but it worked, AND they were delicious!

Amazing Peanut Butter Cookies
(yield 2 dozen)

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Mix peanut butter, sugar, and egg together until well-combined.
  2. Scoop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet.
  3. Bake 18-20 minutes.
  4. Resist eating them all yourself :)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Popovers

I've really come to love popovers lately. They are relatively fast, super easy, and lend a bready, eggy, goodness to a meal without the effort required for homemade rolls. They are kind of magical, the way they change from a runny batter to a puffy but substantive morsel. To me, they're guiltless, too: in my book they are fairly low-calorie (~70 kcal per popover).

It recently came to my knowledge that popovers are basically the same as Yorkshire puddings. I have British ancestry, but I guess my view of pudding has been 100% American (as in, banana pudding, chocolate pudding, tapioca pudding, butterscotch pudding) up until a few months ago. Anyway, these cute little "puddings" do indeed go marvelously with a beef roast... and basically any other meal! I like them alongside my fauxtisserie chicken (we even substituted chicken and popovers for turkey and rolls last Thanksgiving).

Popovers
(yields 12)

3 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup flour
shortening to grease muffin tin
  1. Lightly grease muffin tin wells.
  2. Mix all ingredients together with a whisk or fork. 
  3. Fill each well of the muffin tin 1/3 to 1/2 full. 
  4. Place in cold oven. Turn to 450°F. 
  5. Bake 16-18 minutes, or until popovers "pop over" well edges and turn a golden brown.
  6. Remove from pan with a fork and serve hot. Can be refrigerated and reheated in the microwave (as if you'll have leftovers!).



Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love chocolate chip cookies (seriously... this is the 4th or so variation we've posted). These oatmeal chocolate cookies are scrumptiously soft, and the oats give a great texture.


Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Yield: 4 dozen)

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  2. In large bowl, use a hand mixer to mix brown sugar and butter until blended. Add vanilla, egg, baking soda, and salt, mixing until light and fluffy. 
  3. Stir in oats and flour until uniformly mixed; stir in chocolate chips. 
  4. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. 
  5. Bake about 8 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. 
  6. Share with your loved ones!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Granola

I love granola, but simply cannot justify paying the high prices for pre-made stuff at the store. I admit: we used to occasionally buy some from the bulk section at WinCo, but now we live 3 states away from the nearest one, so that's out.

Finding a reliable recipe for basic granola was challenging! A lot of recipes include stuff I don't always have on hand. Beyond the ingredients quandary, I won't tell you how many batches I burned because the recipe temperatures (which I naively trusted) were too high. Even crockpot granola was a big flop -- my slow cooker apparently cooks too hot. Disappointing!

Enter Chowhound's Basic Granola recipe. Even this, as written, had a too-long ingredients list, but I've tweaked it to my liking and will forever stand by the recipe as follows. I found the cinnamon gave the granola a burned taste, so I omit it.

Thomas loves this so much, he wishes I would quadruple it more often; but I find doubling it usually gets us by at this stage. Plus, it really isn't exactly "healthy" -- it's a lot of oil and sugar to work off if you eat it in the quantities I'd like to.


Granola

3 cups rolled oats
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
  2. Mix oats, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. 
  3. Mix everything else in a separate bowl. Microwave briefly (20-40 seconds) to make it runnier. 
  4. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix well until everything is moistened. 
  5. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour and spread mixture over parchment paper.
  6. Bake 20 minutes at 250°F; remove from oven. Use a metal spatula to turn areas of granola over on baking sheet little by little. This will ensure you get some big chunks or bunches of granola (rather than just the teeny tiny pieces resulting from stirring).
  7. Bake another 15-20 minutes at 250°F. Remove from oven.
  8. Let cool on baking sheet (unless it’s starting to burn; if so, pour into a bowl). 
  9. Once room temperature, pour into a ziploc bag to keep crunchy.

We eat this most often as a cold cereal, drenched in milk; we also like it on yogurt/parfaits or, honestly, just as crispy handfuls out of the bag :)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Turkey Cranberry Wreath

For a brief stint as I was growing up, my mom sold Pampered Chef products. She probably doesn't realize this, but I have a special place in my heart for many of their kitchen gadgets (I have 2 of these, for example), and several of their recipes. This is one of my favorites. It is perfect for using up leftover Thanksgiving turkey, and it looks so pretty in a wreath shape!

Notice the stovetop from 2 moves ago... I guess I should re-make and re-photograph
Turkey Cranberry Wreath
2, 8-oz packages refrigerated crescent rolls
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups cooked turkey or chicken, chopped
1/2 cup celery, finely sliced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
4 oz. (1 cup) Swiss cheese, shredded
1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
1 egg white

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. 
  2. Unroll crescent dough; separate (16 triangles). "Seal" the wide ends of 2 triangles together using fingers, 8 times, until you have 8 diamond shapes.
  3. Arrange dough diamonds in a circle on a pizza pan/stone or baking sheet, matching seams together. Each diamond will have one point in the circle's center and one stretched outward like a sun ray.
  4. Mix mayonnaise, mustard, and pepper in a bowl. Add turkey, celery, cranberries, and grated cheese.
  5. Scoop filling over seams of dough, forming a circle. If using walnuts, sprinkle them over the filling at this point.
  6. Alternatingly fold inner and outer triangles of dough across the filling, slightly overlapping to form wreath. Tuck last end under first. 
  7. Lightly beat egg white and brush over dough. 
  8. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy warm!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Rose milk

I first tried rose milk at one of our favorite Provo restaurants: India Palace. It consists of milk sweetened with rose syrup (sweet like chocolate milk, only instead of chocolate, imagine how a rose smells -- that is the taste), and it is served icy cold and pairs beautifully with spicy Indian food. I loved it so much I decided to try making it at home using this recipe. It was straightforward, once we found rose water at a local Asian store. (As a side note... I even tried flavoring some tapioca pudding with rose water instead of vanilla. It was good, but a little overpowering.)

Rose Milk

Rose Syrup ingredients:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp rose water
a few drops red food coloring (optional)

  1. Completely dissolve sugar in water in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Continue cooking for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Cool to room temperature. Add rose water and food coloring. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Resulting syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-4 weeks.

To make rose milk, add approximately 2 Tbsp rose syrup to 1 cup milk and stir. I would recommend adding a little at a time to taste.

Chicken Tikka Masala



This recipe for chicken tikka masala is slightly adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. It is spicy, flavorful, totally delicious... and a great way to use up plain yogurt ;)

For this India-inspired British dish, begin by marinating chicken in yogurt and pungent spices for one hour. Start some rice. Then, while pan-frying the chicken, cook up a creamy, spicy, tomato-based sauce which pairs beautifully with the chicken, and serve it up over rice. I almost can't eat it without some naan on the side, too!

Chicken Tikka Masala
(serves 3-4)

Chicken Marinade ingredients:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup plain yogurt
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp paprika
2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt

  1. Slice raw chicken into strips or bite-sized chunks.
  2. Combine yogurt, lemon juice, spices, and salt in a large bowl. Add cut-up chicken, stirring to coat well. Refrigerate for an hour (or up to 8 hours).
  3. Heat frying pan and cook chicken over medium heat until done.


MEANWHILE....

Masala ingredients:

1 Tbsp butter
1/2 to 1 tsp garlic powder (or 1 clove garlic, minced)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
8 ounces tomato sauce (one small can. I use the no salt added variety)
1 cup milk/cream (or Mexican crema worked really well)

  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan. 
  2. Add spices and heat until aromatic. 
  3. Stir in tomato sauce and milk or cream. Milk is likely to curdle, but this is fine. 
  4. Cook over low heat until sauce is hot and thick. Pour over chicken in its entirety, or serve separately if preferred. 
Serve hot over rice and ideally with naan -- yummy!