Monthly Archives: February 2011

Hint of Orange, Blueberry Muffins

I recently discovered that I like blueberries. Like, legitimately like blueberries. So at the grocery store the other day, I bought my first package of fresh blueberries and made muffins. I originally wanted to go the route of Bethenny’s Blueberry Muffins and go a somewhat healthy route, but I decided to skip that and go for something new and yummy.

 

Although the recipe called for lemon rind, all the lemons on our tree were green so I opted for an orange – use what you have!

1 1/4 C flour

1/2 C sugar

2 t baking powder

pinch of salt

2 eggs

1/4 C butter, melted

3/4 C milk

1 t vanilla

1 t grated rind

1 1/4 C blueberries (I didn’t measure and used one of the small packages)

Mix all of the dry ingredients together, set aside. In another bowl, whisk the eggs and add the other wet ingredients (not berries). Make a well in the dry mixture and stir in the wet; fold in the blueberries.

In a preheated oven of 400, cook for 20-25 minutes.


SUPER Tortilla Soup

We originally thought the weekend was going to be full of rain and so I stocked the kitchen hoping to be locked up until Monday morning tortuously came and forced me to work, not so… Whereas most people love the sun and the opportunity to get out, I was seriously looking forward to being holed up with my puppy and bookclub book. And although this didn’t happen, we (and by we I mean mostly Brad but I’m still posting this because I can) still made a giant pot of tortilla soup to last us through the cold, wet weekend.

The thing with tortilla soup is that we both love it. LOVE IT! And we usually go back and forth between making his mom’s and my dad’s recipe. This time, we combined them and a little taste of our own. If you try this, you can add anything you want, but here’s what we came up with:

5 C chicken broth

5 C beef broth

1 Italian squash

1 Mexican squash

1 Zucchini

1/2 can corn

1 can of black beans

1/2 – 1 C rice

1 Onion, sliced

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 can diced tomatoes

1 T Chipotle chili powder

Throw in a pot and cook. While it’s cooking, cook two chicken breasts in an oven. We seasoned with worchestire sauce and chili flakes. Shred the chicken and add to the soup.

Right before you are ready to serve, chop an avocado, shred some cheese and fry cut tortilla strips.

Now this is important: layer your bowl with the cheese, add the soup and top with avocado and tortilla strips. Adding the cheese at the bottom makes just the slightest difference. You get to scoop out gobs of melty cheese into every bite and it’s soooo good.

It seriously doesn’t get much better than this.


Veal Scallopini

My Secret Santa (Sheena) got me a really great cookbook from Trattoria Grappolo for Christmas (see post) and I’ve yet to try all of the wonderful things in it. Tonight, however, I did and I’m pretty sure I could be cooking in the restaurant with this! It was wonderful.

My substitutions:

bacon for prosciutto (I would have done pancetta had I had it) – and I cubed it rather than strips

baby bella mushrooms for champignon

extra chicken stock for the white wine

goat cheese for fontina cheese (only because I didn’t have it because I LOVE fontina! goat was a great substitution though)

I also didn’t bake it because really, that was just an extra 15 minutes of cooking and I was ready to eat. If you top the veal with the cheese at the very end, you will get a nice melted cheese on top just as if you had put it in the oven. So really, it’s your call… do you want to eat now or later?


S’more Stuffed Cookie

Two blogs that I read (picky-palate and craftzine) recently posted blogs of s’more stuffed choc chip cookies, brownie stuffed choc chip cookies and oreo stuffed choc chip cookies. And of course I had to try them. My friend Sarah was supposed to do the brownie stuffed cookies and we were going to compare, but something tells me she didn’t make them yet… 🙂

I followed picky-palate’s chocolate chip cookie recipe (substituting choc chips for a mix of milk chocolate and peanut butter chips) and loosely followed the adding the s’more part: I used cinnamon graham crackers, mini marshmallows and made a s’more that was half the size. Like so…

After having one of the best dinners we’ve had in a while (Filet Mignon w/ butter sauce and French Herb Roasted Potatoes – I’ll post more on that later), Brad also commented that these cookies were the best he’s had in a while so I decided to try one and I really liked them as well. I only made six with a s’more surprise inside and the rest of the batch with mini marshmallows (they were good too). I guess my recent purchase of two heavy duty sheet pans, two cooling racks and one large cookie sheet was worth it. Thank you Ross for selling named brand kitchen products – you might just be my new best friend! (just kidding Kristi)

 


Black Cod or Sable Fish

Does this look good?

Because it tasted amazing. Like I said before, the walks to the fish market are really paying off. Not only does he pick up dinner, he makes it too!

 

Butter

Herbs de Provence

Black Cod/Sable Fish


Po’ tine

My [poor] version of a poutine. It’s not even that it’s poor, because it was actually really good. It just isn’t “authentic”. Here’s why:

My obsession with the poutine started in Denver (see Trifecta Complete, Denver Day 3). However, while watching a rerun of No Reservations, Anthony Bourdain reminded me of the poutine – perhaps because I had never tried it, it didn’t stick. But like with all the food I had from Chef Jen, this stuck. A poutine consists of french fries, gravy, cheese curds and a meat (usually). What’s not to like? All my major food groups are there. But I think what really launched my obsession was my first poutine was with roasted duck, the best french fries ever and cheese curds that should have been illegal. As I sit here typing this, full from my version of the poutine, I think about that first one and my mouth waters. If I ever had to choose one meal that changed my life, this would be it. I mean, what other food have I talked about consistently for five weeks straight? … That’s what I thought.

Although the poutine is widely popular in Eastern Canada – think a warm diner in Quebec during the wintertime, my poutine was different. And before I started “studying” this food, I thought it was always a very gourmet-type of food. Not so, but so not relevant. A poutine is whatever you want it to be. Here is mine:

Homemade french fries – I used regular brown potatoes. Peel, slice and fry. That’s it.

Brown Gravy – because I don’t make my own gravy, I used one of those lame packets. Maybe next time I’ll make my own gravy.

Cornish Game Hen – roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper. Tender, juicy, yummy.

Gruyere and Bella Capra Goat Cheese – it’s been a while since I’ve visited the cheese lady at the farmer’s market and although I love her cheese, sometimes I just can’t wait until the downtown market on Tuesdays to try out my creations. The Bella Capra goat cheese was very good. Although it was my first time using their products, I will go back for more 🙂 And if you are wondering why I didn’t use cheese curds, it’s because I still haven’t found any. If you have suggestions, please share. Because I’m not opposed to using them.

So here it is. My “po’tine”:

It was wonderfully yummy despite how the picture may portray it. Ask Brad, he will tell you. And although I liked it, I prepared myself that there was absolutely no way that it would ever top my first poutine. Sadly, it didn’t, but it is something I will definitely keep making.


Sables with Caramel Glaze

One of my friend/co-workers texted me the other day and asked if I would be interested in receiving this:

I immediately responded yes because I could hear Brad now if I would have passed this up… What??!! Woman, are you crazy? I LOVE COOKIES!! And because I know this, I said yes. So upon my arrival back to work on Friday, it was sitting on my desk begging for me to run out of work, go home and cook something. Although I didn’t do that, I did make something today.

Sables with Caramel Glaze

1 3/4 C flour

pinch of salt

1 2/3 C powder sugar

1/2 C sweet butter, chilled and diced

3 egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg yolk, for glazing

Caramel Syrup

1/4 C sugar

4 teaspoons water

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 C water

Make the syrup first. Mix the first three ingredients and cook over medium heat until bubbly and dark in color. Remove from heat, place the pan in a bowl of cool water to stop cooking and add remaining water. Let cool.

For the cookies –

Mix the flour, salt and butter in a food processor and then add the yolks and vanilla to form a dough. Chill the dough for 15 minutes. Roll the dough less than 1/4 inch thick and cut with a 3 inch fluted cookie cutter.

Add the egg yolk to the cookie mixture and brush over cookies. Run a fork over the cookies to add a pattern. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.

Although the cookies were really yummy and had that shortbread/buttery taste to them, I wouldn’t be opposed to sprinkling cinnamon & sugar over some or even adding a fruit glaze. A thicker, longer cookie could also act as a great coffee dipping cookie.

Enjoy!