20 January 2010

Anti-Aging Wheat Blueberry Pancakes

I hardly ever make pancakes... but I just bought some frozen blueberries this week, and pancakes were calling to me on Sunday morning. I did some research on different recipes, trying to figure out a way to make them healthy, but still delicious. I think I developed a good one.

1/2 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup light sour cream (plain or vanilla yogurt would also work well)
1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large egg
2 tbsp light butter, softened
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (do not thaw)

Whisk together flours and dry ingredients (through salt) in a medium bowl.

Combine sour cream and next 5 ingredients (through egg) in a large mixing bowl. Add flour mixture, and stir until just combined.

Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-low heat. Brush pan with a thin coat of butter, and add batter by 1/4 cup increments. (I used a large ice cream scoop, which was a bit smaller). Top batter with a heaping tablespoon of blueberries.

When bubbles begin to appear on the surface of the pancake (about 2-3 minutes), flip and cook for another 2 -3 minutes. Serve warm.

I topped these with a little melted light butter mixed with honey, and a sprinkling of powdered sugar. Yum!

25 January 2009

Chicken N' Dumplins

So so sorry for my prolonged absence. Not because I haven't been cooking... just because I have been a lazy blogger. Well-- here and now I promise to update at least... hmm... twice a week.
I will make it so.

So, to jump start this back up, I will focus on a few "comfort food" recipes. I have just come down with my seasonal cold/sore throat, and comfort food is always on the brain.

Yesterday, I decided to make a big batch of chicken and dumplings, which-- if you are not from the south-- you may have never heard of. It is just a big pot of big, fat, tender noodles and shredded chicken in a rich thick broth. Yum.

I had to work yesterday morning, so I was dreaming of C&D the whole time. At one point, I had convinced myself that I would go completely from scratch... boil the whole chicken, skin it, bone it, shred it. Make my dough of flour and egg, roll it out, cut out and dry the dumplings....
By the time I got out of work, all I wanted was to EAT those C&D, not slave over them.

So- I called up my chef hotline--Dad-- and asked for his current quick recipe. And here it is (slightly adapted by me):

Chicken and Dumplings

34 oz box of chicken stock
34 oz water
3-4 chicken thighs (skinless, boneless or bone-in)
3-4 chicken breasts (skinless, boneless)
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp butter
10 flour burrito-sized tortillas, halved and cut into 1 1/2 - 2 inch strips
seasoned salt (to taste)
dried thyme (to taste)
fresh ground pepper (to taste)

Pour chicken stock and water in a big pot and bring to a boil. Add your chicken pieces, reduce heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Remove chicken pieces and set aside to cool. Strain any excess fat or chicken "debris" from broth. Add milk, butter, and seasonings and bring to a rolling boil.

Add tortilla strips one by one, pushing gently to the side of the pot with a wooden spoon to make more room, if necessary. Allow to gently boil for 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, de-bone (if necessary) and shred chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add back to pot in small batches, gently folding in to dumplings. Reduce heat to low, and continue to simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes.

15 August 2008

Star Wars Birthday Cake Tradition

When Tom and I got married, we joked about his groom's cake being a "German Chocolate Chewie"-- Tom is a big Star Wars fan, for those (few) who don't know.  In the end, we wimped out and just got a basic chocolate cake.

So- a couple months later when Tom's birthday rolled around, I had to try my hand at the german chocolate chewie. (My photos are not digital yet, I will post soon.) It was a success!! Every birthday there after, now 8, I have crafted a different Star Wars character cake.

I don't cook from scratch-- I always use a boxed mix and canned frosting. I try to make the cooking the easy part so that I can focus on the decorating.  I just make a square cake and a round cake, and create the basic shape.  My decorating is never great-- but always free-hand from a photo or action figure.  I think Tom just appreciates the effort.

This year on his birthday, yesterday the 14th, I made C-3PO:

Which-- our dog Patty sneakily ate half of while Tom took a nap. She only made it up to a few bites out of the chin.

Here are a few of the cakes past:

Last year-- Jabba the Hut

2006 -- Tusken Raider

2005 -- Darth Vader

2004 -- Storm Trooper

2003 -- Darth Maul
Photos to come once I scan them:
2002 -- R2-D2
2001 -- Boba Fett
2000 -- Chewie

23 June 2008

Fa- Fa-Focaccia!

Long time, no post, eh? I have nothing or no one to blame but my own laziness and inertia.
One thing I've wanted to post for a while is focaccia. I bought this book: Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, and I LOVE it. It kind of takes off where No Knead Bread started.  I love that I can just mix it up, let it rise, and worry about all the fussy kneading, punching down, etc. You don't even need all the fancy schmancy tools like a peel or stone. And the breads I have made have been delicious!

Here is my Rosemary, Olive, Onion Focaccia, before baking:

And yummy goodness after baking:

Every time I have made focaccia, it never lasts more than a few hours. Yum Yum.

07 May 2008

New Week, New Plan

Well, I haven't posted any pics from last week yet, but here is the plan for this week:

Oven BBQ Beer-Butt Chicken with Broccoli and Corn
Blackened Catfish with Roasted Baby Red Potatoes and Green Beans
Chicken Tetrazzini with a Green Salad
Grilled Teriyaki Pork and Veggie Kabobs with Rice and Grilled Asparagus

The chicken has a beer in its butt and it's in the oven right now.

Also-unrelated, but I have IRISES!! They just came up this year! I guess ole Crazy Shirley (the lady who "flipped" our house) had a little surprise in store for me!

28 April 2008

Weekly Meal Plans

So, this is less of a post about a certain dinner, but a sharing of my "dinner planning" I've been trying out for the past few weeks.  

We live about 1 block from our local Kroger, so it has been much to easy to wait until 5 o'clock everyday, and think "Hmmm, what for dinner?" and stop almost everyday on the way home.  Or, worse, the wandering around le supermarche clueless as to what to buy.  This way of shopping inevitably added up to large grocery spending by the end of the month.

For the past few weeks, I have been planning 4 meals on Monday or Tuesday, and only making one trip to the grocery.  I use my seasonal issues of Everyday Food, Cooking Light, and internet sites for inspiration.  Often, I can combine items over 2 different  meals, or plan for leftovers from one to serve later in the week.  I have now done this for 3 or 4 weeks, and the average I have spent on groceries is $55.  Not bad.  That leaves just a little extra for a good bottle of wine, or a pint of jamocha almond fudge.

On the plan for this week:
Chicken Celery Stir-fry and Rice
Marinated Flank Steak with Potatoes and Green Beans
Stuffed Flounder Roll-ups with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Noodles
Roasted Spiced Pork Shoulder with Black Beans and Yellow Rice

Once I have everything in the fridge/freezer, we just pick what sounds best for that night.
How do you guys plan/not plan/shop for your weekly dinners?

20 April 2008

Personalized Patchwork Tea Towels

I read a lot of blogs-- about food, crafts, randomness. One that I read is called Craft Leftovers by Kristin Roach (over there on the side bar), where she posts different patterns that are quick, easy, and use up those last bits of fabric and yarn, etc. She decided to start posting guest patterns, and mine was the first one, hurray!

Check out my Personalized Patchwork Tea Towels!

Every good kitchen needs a few good kitchen towels.  I have started an Etsy shop, Marmaladecheeks, where I will soon add finished tea towels and DIY tea towel kits. Just a little taste of my crafty side...