Thursday, December 22, 2011

Carrot Soufflé

The carrots in this make it quite sweet. If you make it and would like it sweeter, you can add more sugar.

2 lbs Carrots, chopped up
1/2 cup Melted Butter
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3 Eggs, beaten

  1. Heat oven to 350.
  2. Place the chopped up carrots into a steamer and steam them until they are soft.
  3. Drain the carrots and mash them up.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  5. Place into a 2-qt casserole dish.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve hot; can be enjoyed cold as well.

I've made this and substituted margarine for the butter, and egg whites for the whole eggs. I thought it tasted great both ways :)

    Roasted Potatoes

    Use any combo of 'taters suitable for baking that you like. Here's a combo we like:

    3 cups raw, cubed Red-Skinned Potatoes
    3 cups raw, cubed Sweet Potatoes
    1/2 teaspoon Salt
    1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
    1 teaspoon Basil (dried works well)
    1 Tablespoon Rosemary (fresh is wonderful, finely chopped, of course)
    1-2 teaspoons of Olive Oil (a healthy splash)

    1. Heat oven to 350.
    2. Cube the 'taters into about 1/2"-3/4" cubes. (Think homefries.)
    3. Dump all the 'taters into a large bowl- with a lid, if possible.
    4. Add olive oil to the taters and mix to evenly coat all of your 'taters
      (if you're using a bowl with lid, place the lid on the bowl and shake it up).
    5. Add the herbs and salt. Replace lid, if you have one, and again, mix/shake well.
    6. Spread the 'taters onto a baking sheet in a single layer.
    7. Cook them for about 30 minutes, turning them over once or twice during cooking.

    Tuscan Pasta

    (You can add 1 pound of cooked chicken cut into strips to this if you'd like meat in there.)

    6 oz. Penne or Rotini Pasta (half a box)
    1 can (15 oz) Great Northern Beans
    1/2 cup Roasted Red Peppers, chopped
    1 C Baby Spinach, chopped
    1 clove Garlic, minced
    1 teaspoon finely chopped Rosemary, preferably fresh
    1 teaspoon broth
    Fresh Parmesan cheese
    1 lb. of chicken, if desired.

    1. If using chicken, cook the chicken and cut it into thin strips. Set aside.
    2. Cook pasta according to directions.
    3. Heat the broth in a large skillet. Add the beans, vegetables, and spices. Cook 3-5 minutes or until the spinach begins to wilt a little.
    4. Toss with pasta (and add the chicken if you're using it).
    5. Top with Parmesan cheese.
    If you're using a box of pasta and you'd prefer to cook the entire box, just double the rest of the ingredients for a larger meal.

    Key Lime Meltaway Cookies

    I found this recipe on Tastespotting (my very favorite recipe site), which linked to The Taste Space, who credited Smitten Kitchen, who adapted the recipe from Martha Stewart... *whew*!
    My adaptation- I used less powdered sugar when coating the cookies at the end.

    Key Lime Meltaways - makes 4-5 dozen

    12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
    2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
    Grated zest of 4 tiny or 2 large key limes
    2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
    1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
    1 3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour (a.k.a. 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons)
    2 tablespoons cornstarch
    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1. In a large bowl using an electric mixer (or you can use an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment), cream butter and 1/3 cup sugar until fluffy. 
    2. Add lime zest, juice, and vanilla; beat until fluffeh.
    3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt. 
    4. Add to butter mixture, and beat on low speed until combined.
    5. Between two pieces of parchment paper, shape/roll dough into two 1 1/4-inch-diameter logs. Chill at least 1 hour.
    6. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment. 
    7. Place remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a resealable plastic bag. 
    8. Remove parchment from logs; slice dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Place rounds on baking sheets, spaced 1 inch apart.
    9. Bake cookies until barely golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool slightly, just three or four minutes. 
    10. While still warm, place cookies in the sugar-filled bag; toss to coat. If too much sugar seems to be sticking to your cookies (it happened to me), place your cookies face-down in the sugar and pat them lightly, then shake off the excess, instead of tossing them around in the bag. Bake or freeze remaining dough.
    Store baked cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. You can also make lots and lots and store the logs in the freezer for a month or two so you can make these any time :)

      Wednesday, December 21, 2011

      Veggie Chili in the Crock Pot

      This is super easy and, of course, good for you too!

      1 Jalapeño Pepper - finely chopped
      1 Green Bell Pepper - chopped
      1 Red Bell Pepper - chopped
      1 Small Yellow Onion - chopped
      (you can add more bell peppers if you want!)
      1 15oz can of Corn - drained
      1 20oz can of Diced Tomatoes & Chilis - drained
      1 can Black Beans,
      1 can Garbanzo Beans
      1 cab Kidney Beans
      8 oz. Vegetarian Baked Beans
      2 cloves Garlic, minced
      2 Tbsp Chili Powder < careful, it's hot!
      1 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper < it's hot, too!
      1 Tbsp Oregano
      1 Tbsp Basil
      1 Tbsp Parsley

      Drain and rinse beans, if needed.
      Dump everything into the crockpot and cook on high for about 4 hours.

      I have only cooked with canned beans and don't know much about using dried beans. If you have some tips, please post them in the comments! Thanks :)