posted by on cooking for 2, healthy, portions, quick, vegetable

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I am certain I’ve mentioned before that, believe it or not, my cupboards sometimes end up bare. I’m also sure I’ve brought up the fact that I always have frozen vegetables in my freezer for instances such as this AND at times can be too tired/lazy to cook.

Vegetarian friendly and satisfying sans meat, this isn’t really a recipe but more of an emergency “what can I use” type of situation.  Plus, it makes 3 very hearty servings and all ingredients can be switched out depending on what you have in your kitchen.

Don’t have rice? Try quinoa. Fresh vegetables can be used obviously but sometimes having frozen options works out better for me in cases of emergency such as this week.

Come up with an awesome combo? Let me know, leave a comment below! I would love to know what you guys use. Don’t forget to take pictures too!

Here’s what I had:

  • A cup of white rice in the fridge
  • Frozen broccoli
  • Frozen corn
  • 1 can of black beans
  • Cumin
  • Dried parsley
  • Garlic powder (or use fresh!)
  • Salt and pepper
  • A half of a lemon in the fridge (probably from a bloody mary…)
  • A little bit of olive oil

Here’s what I did:

  1. Heat up a tiny bit of olive oil in a skillet. Throw in your frozen veggies (if you’re using fresh, they won’t take as much time to cook… you want them to be slightly tender).
  2. Put a lid on it and let them thaw out and cook a bit.
  3. Cook your rice (or quinoa) according to package.
  4. Throw in the black beans and your seasonings you like (a dash of cayenne would be good) and mix!
  5. Cover and let them cook another couple of minutes until they’re slightly tender (if you’re using fresh garlic I’d mix it in now). Throw a bit of rice/quinoa in a bowl and top with the veggie mix.

Seriously… the mix of cumin, sea salt and black pepper and the mix of textures with the veggies and rice was perfect! Not bad for a girl with “nothing” in her cupboards, right? YOUR TURN!

posted by on baking, homemade, juice

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Orange sweet rolls. Do I need to say anything else? I didn’t think so! The dough is the same exact recipe from my homemade cinnamon rolls in 90 minutes or less post so you won’t be spending time waiting for these puppies to rise and bake!

I prefer to prep them the night before and let them rise overnight for baking in the morning, but the recipe is built so you only have to let them rise until double in size and then bake them right away. Whatever fits your fancy!

Here’s what you’ll need:
For the dough –>

  • ¾ cups milk (any kind)
  • ¼ cups butter
  • 3¼ cups flour
  • 1 (0.25 oz.) dry active yeast
  • ¼ water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp. salt

For the orange filling —>

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • grated orange rind

For the orange glaze —>

  • the juice of one orange (fresh squeezed is best!)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (more or less depending on how much juice you have)

Start the dough:Sweet Rolls Step 1

  • Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Mix in the butter and stir until melted. Let cool until lukewarm.
  • In a large mixing bowl mix 2¼ cups flour, yeast, sugar & salt. Mix well with whisk.
  • Add the water, egg and milk mixture and beat well. You should have a very stick dough as shown in the photo.
  • Add the remaining flour, ½ cup at time, stirring well after each addition. (I only use about a cup of the remaining dough. More will be used to roll the dough out and you don’t want it to be too dry.)

Sweet Rolls Step 2

  • When the dough has just pulled together, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes.
  • Cover the dough with a damp cloth or paper towel and let rest for 10 minutes (I leave it on the counter – don’t worry about transferring it to a bowl).
  • While the dough is resting, prepare the filling. In a small saucepan melt your butter. Once melted add the sugar and orange rind. Mix well and once it starts boiling, remove it from the heat. Set aside to let it cool a bit.
  • Roll out the dough into a rectangle about ¼-½ inch thick.

OrangeFilling

  • Spread the dough with your orange sauce, leaving about ½ inch margin.
  • Roll up the dough lengthwise and pinch the seam to seal. Turn over so it’s seam-side down on the counter.
  • Using a piece of string, mark out 12 pieces and cut.

Cut to Baked rolls

  • Place rolls into a greased pan. Cover and let rise until doubled (about 30 minutes- could take less depending on how warm your kitchen is). I use two pieces of saran wrap that have been sprayed with olive oil so the dough doesn’t stick when it’s finished rising.
  • Bake in 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes, just until the tops are golden brown. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Pour glaze (recipe below) over the top and continue to let the rolls cool all the way through.

OrangeGlaze

Prepare the glaze:

  • Mix the orange juice and powdered sugar with a whisk until a slightly runny consistency. 

posted by on baking, Holidays, quick

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Holidays! Cranberries are easy to come by so I always stock up when they’re on sale. Store ’em in your freezer for up to a year. Mine never last that long.

This cran-orange muffin recipe is something I changed up a bit to fit my tastes. In all honesty, it’s pretty sweet and more cupcake, almost angel food-like. I still had a couple for breakfast though. 🙂

If you’re not a fan of the tartness of cranberry, try using blueberries instead, they’d work equally well with the orange flavor. You could also try and toss your thawed out cranberries in a bowl of sugar and let them sit a little bit before you add them to the dough. Up to you!

Overall, this one’s a keeper! Moist, sweet and just the right amount of tart for me!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange rind
  • ¾ cup orange juice (prefer fresh squeezed oranges!)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 2 cups cranberries (or blueberries), if you’re using frozen, thaw and drain first
  • Cooking spray
  1. Set aside 1 tablespoon of the sugar.
  2. Combine flour, remaining sugar, baking powder, salt & baking soda in a large bowl.
  3. Combine orange rind, juice, oil, egg & almond extract in a small bowl. Mix well with a whisk.
  4. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
  5. Fold in cranberries or blueberries.
  6. Spoon batter into 16 muffin cups coated with cooking spray.
  7. Sprinkle with leftover sugar.
  8. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes.
  9. Remove from pan and let cool completely on wire rack.

Original recipe found here.

posted by on baking

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Back in September I shared one of my all time favorite cookie recipes – the snickerdoodle! I only briefly talked about where this cookie might have originated which led me to search for books on the subject (nerd alert!) which brought me to this gently used book on Amazon (shout out to Lyons Elementary Library and the dewey decimal system).

Slumps, Grunts, and Snickerdoodles: What Colonial America Ate and Why by Lila Perl talks about the New World and what tested the adaptability of cultures like American Indian, European and African and led us to many favorite dishes like the snickerdoodle.

Excerpt from “Slumps, Grunts and Snickerdoodles” Instagram photo

This recipe “is derived from early days in New Netherland and owes its existence to the foresight and bounty of the Dutch wheat farmers and to the industry of their merry, energetic housewives.” —> Ugh. We won’t go into the whole housewives thing, let’s just keep in mind that they didn’t have hand/stand mixers, so when I do try this recipe, the only traditional route I’ll go is using a wooden spoon.  *I have yet to try this recipe but wanted to throw it out there for you guys that read my last snickerdoodle post!*

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • ½ cup butter/margarine
  • ¾ cup sugar
  •  1 egg
  •  2 cups flour
  •  1 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  •  2 tablespoons sugar
  •  2 teaspoons cinnamon
  1. With the back of a wooden spoon, mix the softened butter and sugar until smooth.
  2. Add the egg and beat well.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. In another small bowl, mix the milk and vanilla.
  5. Add ¹⁄ ³ of the flour mix to the butter and sugar. Mix until smooth.
  6. Add ½ of the milk mixture and mix until well blended.
  7. Add the next ¹⁄ ³ of the flour mix and blend well.
  8. Add last ½ of the milk mixture and mix well.
  9. Finally, add the last bit of flour mix and blend until smooth.
  10. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
  11. Drop spoonfuls of the dough onto a well greased (or use parchment paper) baking sheet.
  12. Sprinkle the tops generously with the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
  13. Bake cookies at 325 degrees for about 15 minutes each or until the cookies are lightly brown around the edges.
  14. Remove to cooling racks to thoroughly cool and store in an airtight container.

posted by on baking, Holidays

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An ode to my favorite cookie right now at Urban Cookies Bake Shop here in Phoenix. Their ginger molasses cookies… I crave them. I dream about those cookies!

Anyway… something about the combination of ginger and molasses has always reminded me of Christmas. My version isn’t overwhelmingly ginger-y, are super soft and take no time at all to put together (assuming you have ginger and molasses in your kitchen… I had to make a grocery run).

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1½ sticks of butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar + extra for rolling
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 2¾ cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. Mix together the softened butter & sugar.
  2. Add the molasses and 1 egg and mix until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger & cinnamon.
  4. Add half of the flour mix to the wet mix. Mix until well combined.
  5. Add the rest of the flour mix and mix well.
  6. Roll the dough into about 1″ balls, roll in sugar until well coated.
  7. Bake on a parchment covered cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about 9 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven & let cool for a couple of minutes.
  9. Transfer to wire racks to fully cool. Store in an airtight container.

posted by on cooking, cooking for 2

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Pork chops. Seriously, one of the hardest things to cook really well. I mean moist and melt-in-your-mouth great. I found this poem oddly enough through a Google search and gave this “recipe” from The Amateur Gourmet a go.

That was a couple of years ago and every time I’ve made this recipe, I change it up a little bit making it even better than it was the last time. For those starters in the kitchen and for those who don’t like the restraints of baking, this recipe is for you. If you want to impress someone (a date, a friend, your grandmother…) try this out. You won’t be disappointed. Below is my version but without the fun poem formatting. Feeds 2.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 thick cut boneless pork chops (you could use bone-in if you prefer)
  • 1 medium sized head of cabbage (organic if you can find it), roughly chopped
  • olive oil
  • butter/margarine
  • sea salt & pepper
  • fresh garlic cloves, roughly smashed
  • ¼-½ cup of white wine or substitute water
  • red wine vinegar
  • various seasonings

  1. First, using a strong paper towel, dry off the pork chops, both sides, really well.
  2. Season generously with sea salt and pepper, parsley, lemon pepper… whatever you have.
  3. Heat a couple of tablespoons olive oil and a little bit of butter/margarine in a pot over medium high heat.
  4. When it’s melted and hot, add your seasoned pork chops to the pan (I usually season one side only, place in the pan to brown on that side and then season the other side while it’s in the pan).
  5. Once you have a nice dark, golden brown on both sides, remove from the pot and let rest on a plate.
  6. Add your smashed garlic (6-7 cloves) to the pork fat & butter/oil mix (if there’s a lot of fat, pour a little bit out into a small bowl… do NOT put that down your sink drain, please!)
  7. Once the garlic is golden brown,  add all of your chopped cabbage. A full head of cabbage may seem like a lot in your pot, but it will cook down a lot. Trust it!
  8. Cover the pot and let cook down for about 10-15 minutes until it’s cooked down quite a bit.
  9. Add your ¼-½ cup of white wine (I used water because I didn’t have any, won’t matter).
  10. Add a few sprinkles of red wine vinegar and more salt and pepper. Let it cook for 10 more minutes.
  11. Taste your cabbage. It should taste awesome! I always add more parsley, lemon pepper and this last time I added a few dashes of cayenne pepper and it was amazing! Season it to you liking.
  12. Once it tastes the way you want, add your pork chops back into the pot. It’s going to party with that fantastic cabbage of yours!
  13. Put a lid on it, grab a glass of wine and let it cook over medium-low heat about 15-20 minutes or until the pork is fully cooked at 150 degrees (a meat thermometer would be handy here!).

That’s it! Serve up the pork chops and split the cabbage between the 2 of you.

an idea…

Nov
2012
29

posted by on cooking, News, social media

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For my lovely blog fans, foodies, followers, friends…

I want to start doing a series of mini videos for my cooking/baking blog. What sort of things would you want to see? How-to? Cooking Tips?

Hit me up with some ideas!! 🙂 Leave me a comment here or on Facebook.
Also… I’m putting together a little give away contest! 
Cheers!

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