Friday, July 30, 2010

A Perfect Breakfast...


Perfect weekend breakfast alert! I was watching Diners, Drive-in's, and Dives on food network a while ago and they showcased a diner that is famous for their french toast. They had so many creative combinations, I was inspired! One of the varieties they talked about was peanut butter and jelly french toast. Ever since I was a kid I have loved peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, peanut butter is still one of my favorite foods! To make the french toast you basically just make a good old pb&j, dip it in your egg batter, and cook. Let me tell you, it is out of this world good! Warm, gooey, comforting, and it took me right back to the days of my youth... But I couldn't stop there! I went on to create some other fun combinations - peanut butter and honey, banana and nutella, and stuffed raisin. All of them were so yummy (stay tuned for part II of the french toast post)! I will never make plain old french toast again! Hope you guys enjoy as much as I did... what crazy combinations will you come up with? I think the next one I will try will be frosted flake crusted french toast. So many possibilities! I love remaking childhood favorite foods in a new way, what was your favorite childhood snack? Any other peanut butter lovers out there?
Have an AMAZING weekend!

Peanut Butter and Jelly French Toast
As seen on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Ingredients

4 Eggs
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup milk (I used whole milk that was left over from the rice pudding, if you wanna be healthier, non fat would work too)
Sprinkle of salt
Bread, sliced
Butter
Peanut butter
Jelly

In a shallow pan, beat together eggs, sugar, and milk.

Spread a slice of bread with jam, spread another slice with peanut butter.

Put them together (ok so I am thinking everyone knows how to make a PB&J sandwich)... dip sandwich into egg mixture, first one side, then the other. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium high heat, add butter to pan.

When pan is hot, put sandwich into pan and cook until bottom is golden brown, flip it over and cook other side until golden brown. Remove from pan and induldge!






Tasty Tuesday!!
Beauty and Bedlam

Fill in the Blank Friday

I like the questions this week... make me wanna go back to bed :) Enjoy and get LOTS of rest this weekend!

1. The last thing I do before going to sleep is put my teddy bear under my head (best pillow I've found :) and say my prayers .

2. When I can't sleep I wake up and bake... or blog

3. The first thing I do when I wake up is pee and do some yoga stretches .

4. When I'm tired I stop functioning and say random hilarious stuff... or I just sit there and stare like a creeper.

5. My dream bedroom would be super calming with a GiGANtIC bead with TONS of pillows and super soft blankets... you can never have too many pillows! It would also have to have a huge closet with a separate one for shoes!

6. If I could wake up anywhere tomorrow morning it would be in Mexico with Jose

7. The longest sleep I've ever had was when I got the flu and they gave me anti-nausea medicine so I slept for two days. I woke up all confused and disoriented, not fun!

8. I sleep on my right side with a pillow between my knees. TMI?

9. When I sleep, I like to wear boy shorts and t-shirt .

10. My bedtime is usually about 1030, depends on the day .

Happy Friday! Have a SPLENDID weekend!

Creamy Rice Pudding


Happy Friday! Yesterday I decided to try my hand at rice pudding. My grandma is still sick and is having trouble swallowing, so I thought the pudding would be a good way to get her to eat something, as I am sure she gets tired of having to drink Ensure all the time to get her nutrients. I have had VERY bad luck in the past with cooking rice. I dont know why but it is just one of those things that I have never quite gotten the hang of, I either burn it or dont cook it long enough so it is crunchy and not so good. This time, however, it came out really well! It did require a bit of work though, I stood there and constantly stirred the rice/milk mixture for about 25 minutes because I was so worried that it would burn. I got the recipe from simplyrecipes.com, the recipe says to mix in raisins but I chose not to cause Grammy isn't a big raisin fan. The pudding turned out quite tasty, it is very sweet so I would serve it for a dessert with some fresh fruit or raisins mixed in. If you cut down the amount of sugar, it would be a yummy breakfast treat too. I refridgerated it for a day before giving it to grandma and it does thicken up a lot. I liked it served cold but grandma ate hers warmed up and seemed to really enjoy it. I hope you all do to!

Creamy Rice Pudding
Adapted from Simply Recipes

Ingredients


  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup uncooked short grain white rice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Directions

In a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the milk, rice and salt to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the rice is tender, about 20-25 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.


In a small mixing bowl, whisk together egg and brown sugar until well mixed. Add a half cup of the hot rice mixture to the egg mixture, a tablespoon at a time, vigorously whisking to incorporate.


Add egg mixture back into the saucepan of rice and milk and stir, on low heat, for 10 minutes or so, until thickened. Be careful not to have the mixture come to a boil at this point. Stir in the vanilla. Remove from heat.

Serve warm or cold.

Serves 2-3.



Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Another Mexican street food recipe! Every heard of vaselote? I hadn't either until Jose introduced me to this heavenly corn snack, and now its one of my faves! It's Mexican comfort food at it's best. It is sold everywhere in Mexico going by the name vaselote or esquite. By either name... its good! You can order it however you like, off the cob, on the cob, extra chili powder, with lime juice, without lime juice, less mayo, more mayo, extra cheesy or less cheesy (but who would ever want anything LESS cheesy???). I didn't have time to actually grill the corn, so in order to give it that charred smokey taste, I used canned corn and put it in a dry skillet and charred it a bit over high heat. You can use queso fresco or queso cojita. Queso fresco is milder and moister, queso cojita is more crumbly and has a bit stronger flavor. I set out all the ingredients and let people put them together however they wanted. Scrumptious corny goodness... Ole!


Vaselote


Ingredients


Corn

2 cans sweet corn

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 tbsp salt


Drain corn well, heat a heavy bottomed skillet over high heat. When skillet is hot add corn. Cook stirring often until corn is lightly browned (if some pieces get a little charred this is good as it adds to the flavor!). When corn is light brown, add in butter and salt. Stir often until butter is melted. Remove from heat.


Add Ins

Salt

Sour cream

Mayonnaise

Queso fresco

Lime juice

Chili powder

Salsa Valentina (or Tabasco sauce)


I would recommend that each person serve themselves so that they can add whichever ingredients in whatever quantity they would like.


My favorite combination.....

For each individual vaselote, put 1 spoonful of mayo or sour cream in the bottom of a small dish or glass. Top with one cup of corn. Top corn with more mayo/sour cream, queso fresco, chili powder and a bit of salsa and about 2 tsp of lime juice. Mix well. Top with a bit more queso and chili powder. Serve.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Whisked Away Wednesday: Cooking Light Coconut Lime Banana Bread



I love a good banana bread! I have tried many different recipes but this one is my favorite by far! It is super moist, flavorful, and it is based on a cooking light recipe so it's pretty healthy to boot! I have made it countless times and every time it is a hit! I made this batch for work, so I actually made one batch and cooked it in a loaf pan, then made another batch, added in butterscotch chips, and made a mini loaf and mini muffins (I have a lot of coworkers!). The addition of butterscotch makes it a little extra decadent, it is good with walnuts mixed in as well. The rum, and lime glaze give it a refreshing tropical vibe and the coconut gives the bread a satisfying crunch! Make sure to use fresh squeezed lime juice for the glaze as it really does make a difference! Have a wonderful Wednesday!


Coconut lime Banana Bread

Yield: 1 loaf, 16 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

To get 1 loaf, mini muffins, and a small loaf pan just double recipe

Ingredients


2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)

1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt

3 tablespoons rum

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut

1 1/2 cup butterscotch chips (optional)

Cooking spray

1 tablespoon flaked sweetened coconut

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice


Directions

Preheat oven to 350°

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.

Stir together granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl. Add eggs, beating well.

Add banana, yogurt, rum, and vanilla; mix until blended. Add flour mixture; stir together just until moist.

Stir in 1/2 cup coconut

Add in butterscotch chips if using


Spoon batter into a 9x5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon coconut. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. For mini muffins just cook for 30 minutes, small loaf pan 40-45 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pan.

Glaze
Ingredients

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice


Combine powdered sugar and juice. Drizzle over warm bread. Cool completely on wire rack

For mini muffins just cook for 30 minutes, small loaf pan 40-45 minutes.

Nutritional Information

Calories:193, Fat: 4.6g, Protein: 2.9g, Carbohydrate: 35g, Fiber:1.1g, Cholesterol: 35mg, Iron: 1mg, Sodium: 179mg,

Calcium: 15mg

Jean Patterson, Cooking Light, SEPTEMBER 2007





Sunday, July 25, 2010

Irish Soda Bread Muffins



Good Morning! Happy Sunday! I love Irish Soda Bread. When I was living in co-op housing during college, our cook could make a GREAT Irish Soda bread, and ever since then I have been searching for a comprable recipe. I wanted a bread that was fluffy, and full of raisins. Raisins are one of my favorite ingredients and when incorporated into the bread they become moist and delicious. The original recipe called for currants but I only had raisins and prunes so I chopped up the prunes and added them in with the raisins. Making this recipe literally took me 10 minutes. It is super quick and makes a great weekend morning breakfast, especially when topped with a bit of butter and some jam or honey. I made 12 regualr size muffins and 12 mini muffins because I only have one regular size muffin tin. These are best eaten warm so if you don't eat them right away, be sure to heat them up in the microwave before enjoying later! Leftovers (if you have any!) can be frozen and reheated.


Irish Soda Bread Muffins

Adapted from www.RecipeGirl.com


Ingredients



2 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
1 cup buttermilk (I used low fat)
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 cup raisins or other fruit


Process

Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease small muffin tins or large muffin tins.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.


With pastry cutter or two knives used scissors fashion, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add in raisins.


In a small bowl or cup, stir together buttermilk and egg until blended.


Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir to combine.


Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake 20 to 25 minutes (longer for the larger muffins), or until cake tester inserted in center of one muffin comes out clean.


Remove muffin tin or tins to wire rack. Cool 5 minutes before removing muffins from cups; finish cooling on rack. Serve warm or cool completely and store muffins in an airtight container at room temperature.

Yield: 12 regular- sized muffins plus 12 mini muffins



Have a beautiful rest of your weekend!


Friday, July 23, 2010

Gazpacho de Frutas


Happy Friday! So in my earlier blog, I remarked that Jose my boyfriend was up visiting me from Mexico these last few weeks. I also promised to post some mexican food recipes. This is the easiest one ever and the perfect summer snack! It is for gazpacho, one of my favorite mexican "street foods." We made it for my family who is all here taking care of my grandma and let me say, despite some trepidation at first (due to the strange combo of fruits, veggies, and spices), once everyone took a bite, they declared it an amazing success. The bowl was emptied in about five minutes flat. It just goes to prove that you shouldn't ever judge a new food before trying it!
When I was living in Morelia, I would basically get this every day after work. In Mexico, they have entire restaurants dedicated to making Gazpacho, but the little shop down the street from my apartment made the best! They always had the freshest fruit and I NEVER got a sour mango or mealy watermelon in my gazpacho from them. The whole thing only cost 2.00 to boot! So, you may be wondering, what exactly is gazpacho? This has caused a lot of confusion as the most commonly known gazpacho is a chilled soup with spanish origins. The gazpacho I know, however, is a mixture of fruits and vegetables, cut up and mixed with fresh squeezed lemon and lime juices and tossed with queso fresco and salt y chile al gusto (however spicy you want it.) The combinations are endless! Ranging from the super traditional - made with mango, watermelon, cucumber, jicama, onion, and chile serrano (serrano peppers), to the super simple - just mango for example. You can order it with whatever assortment of fruit and veggies you like (as long as they have them on hand). My favorite combination is mango, watermelon, jicama, and cucumber with extra cheese and chili powder. It may sound strange to combine jicama and cucumber with a fruit mix but they soak up the flavors and are very refreshing! The salt is a great addition as well and really brings out the flavors of the fruit. If you are on a low-sugar diet you can also make this with just the veggies. Queso fresco is a mild tasting white cheese that can be found at most grocery stores nowadays, or at your local mexican tienda. Jose and I bought all our ingredients at a local mexican fruit and vegetable market. It was pretty cheap and we were able to get a variety of mango types as well as pre-cut watermelon. In our recipe, we left out onion and serrano peppers as my family is not big on spicy foods or onion. I would recommend cutting up all the fruit and mixing it with the orange and lime juice and then letting people add their extra ingredients to their own liking. This recipe is also perfect for summer as no cooking whatsoever is involved. I hope you enjoy this little mexican bocadillo (snack) as much as I do!


Gazpacho de Frutas
Mexican Fruit Gazpacho
Serves 4 -5 people

We bought three different types of mango - the smallest one on the right is a miniature manila or ataulfo mango, the one in the middle is a typical Haden Mango, the one on the right is a normal sized manila mango. I recommend using the regular manilla mango as it is sweetest and less fibrous than Haden.

Ingredients
3 mangos (I recommend the yellow manilla mango)
1/3 large watermelon
1/2 medium jicama
Juice from 4 oranges
Juice from 2 limes
Salt to taste
Chili powder to taste
Queso fresco (however much you want, I like LOTS!)

Process
Jose demonstrating how to peel a mango.

Peel mango and jicama (and cucumber if using).

Dice jicama, peeled mango, and watermelon (or whatever mix of fruit/veggies you are using) into small cubes.
Juice the oranges and limes.
Mix juice and diced fruit in a large bowl.

Crumble the queso fresco and add to the mixture, add salt and chili powder to taste.

Mix well.
Serve topped with more cheese and chili powder if desired.


Josean, with LOTS of knifes.....

Finished product, provecho (enjoy)!