I love this smoothie for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s cool and creamy and loaded with peanut butter and banana. Second, it makes a filling and healthy snack. Both the peanut butter and Greek yogurt contribute a lot of satisfying protein. This smoothie would be a great high-protein snack to enjoy after a challenging workout, or whenever you need a tasty energy boost.
I haven’t tried it yet, but I think a little chocolate syrup or some dark chocolate would be a great addition to this smoothie. We all know how well chocolate and peanut butter go together, as do peanut butter and banana, so chocolate, peanut butter, and banana? That can only be even better.
One year ago: Pesto Pasta Salad
Peanut Butter Split Smoothie
Makes 1 serving
- 1 large banana, peeled, cut into 3 or 4 pieces, and frozen
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 1/2 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Serve immediately.
Source: adapted from The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger
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I have been loving pineapple lately, buying one at the grocery store every week. Usually I eat it as a snack with some cottage cheese, but when I saw this recipe I knew it would be another great way to enjoy my pineapple. This fruit salsa is full of bright flavors and textures- sweet pineapple, creamy avocado, tangy lime, plus a little bit of heat from jalapeno and red onion.
The salsa went perfectly with the pan-cooked tilapia, which is seasoned simply with some salt and pepper. While tilapia is the most budget-friendly choice of fish, the salsa would also be delicious with halibut. Although if you do use a thicker fish like halibut, you will have to adjust your cooking time accordingly. Served on top of some brown rice, this fish with fruit salsa is a meal that tastes like summer.
One year ago: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins (love these!)
Tilapia with Avocado-Pineapple Salsa
Makes 4 servings
- 2 cups finely diced pineapple
- 1/2 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
- 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- juice of 2 limes
- 2 avocados, diced small
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tilapia fillets (5-6 oz. each)
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- In a medium bowl, combine the pineapple, jalapeno, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, and avocado. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
- Pat the fish dry with paper towels and season liberally with salt and pepper.
- Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet. Carefully place the fish in a single layer in the pan. Cook for a few minutes on each side until lightly browned and cooked through.
- To serve, top each piece of fish with salsa.
Source: Adapted from Pink Parsley.
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Posted in Desserts, Pies, Tarts, Crisps, and Crumbles, tagged dessert, lemon, Mother's Day, spring, tart on May 24, 2012 |
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Citrus desserts like this lemon tart are just right for enjoying in the springtime. I offered to bring dessert to my family’s Mother’s Day dinner, and since both my mom and I were craving something along the lines of lemon cream pie, I had an easy time deciding on this lemon tart. This was the first time I’ve made this recipe, but it surely will not be the last. A sweet pastry shell is filled with a tart lemon curd filling and topped with sweet, freshly whipped cream. What more is there to say? It was love at first bite.
One year ago: Restaurant Style Salsa
For the Sweet Tart Pastry Shell:
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tbsp. heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups (6 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
- 2/3 cup (2 2/3 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 8 tbsp. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
For the tart filling:
- 7 large egg yolks, plus 2 large eggs
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar (7 7/8 ounces)
- 2/3 cup juice plus 1/4 cup finely grated zest from 4 to 5 medium lemons
- Pinch of salt
- 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 3 tbsp. heavy cream
- Prepare and bake the tart shell: Whisk together the egg yolk, cream, and vanilla in a small bowl; set aside. Place the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt in a food processor and process briefly to combine. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture; process to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about fifteen 1-second pulses. With the machine running, add the egg mixture and process until the dough just comes together, about 12 seconds. Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and press into a 6-inch disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 48 hours.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator (if refrigerated longer than 1 hour, let stand at room temperature until malleable). Unwrap and roll out between 2 lightly floured sheets of parchment paper to a 13-inch round. (If the dough is soft and sticky, slip it onto a baking sheet and refrigerate until workable, 20 to 30 minutes.) Transfer the dough to a tart pan by rolling the dough loosely around the rolling pin and unrolling over a 9- to 9 1/2-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Working around the edge of the pan, ease the dough onto the pan corners by gently lifting the edge with one hand while pressing it into the corners with the other hand. Press the dough against the fluted sides of the pan. (If some sections of the edge are too thin, reinforce them by folding the excess dough back on itself.) Run the rolling pin over the top of the tart pan to remove the excess dough. Set the dough-lined tart pan on a large plate and freeze 30 minutes. (The dough-lined tart pan can be sealed in a gallon-size ziploc bag and frozen up to 1 month.)
- Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Set the dough-lined tart pan on a baking sheet, press a 12-inch square of foil into the frozen tart shell and over the edge, and fill with metal or ceramic pie weights. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the foil and pie weights. Continue to bake until deep golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes more. Set the baking sheet with the tart shell on a wire rack.
- Prepare the tart filling: Keep the oven temperature at 375 degrees F. In a medium nonreactive bowl*, whisk together the yolks and whole eggs until combined, about 5 seconds. Add the sugar and whisk until just combined, about 5 seconds. Add the lemon juice, zest, and salt; whisk until combined, about 5 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a medium non-reactive saucepan, add the butter pieces, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, until the curd thickens to a thin sauce-like consistency and registers 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes. Immediately pour the curd through a fine-mesh stainless steel strainer set over a clean nonreactive bowl. Stir in the heavy cream; immediately pour the curd into the warm tart shell.
- Return the baking sheet with the filled tart shell to the middle rack of the oven. (If the crust is already browned, be sure to cover it with foil or a pie crust shield to prevent over-browning.) Bake until the filling is shiny and opaque and the center 3 inches jiggle slightly when shaken, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 1 hour. Remove the outer ring, slide a thin metal spatula between the bottom crust and the tart pan bottom to release, then slide the tart onto a serving plate. Serve the tart within several hours, with freshly whipped cream.
*To prevent the lemon curd from having a metallic taste, only use nonreactive stainless steel or glass utensils when preparing the lemon curd.
Source: Baking Illustrated
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This recipe was the first meal I cooked after William was born. It was an experience getting it into the crock pot in the morning while taking care of both kids, but luckily the recipe is pretty easy (although it did take me about three times as long as it usually would to finish it). I love that this recipe uses the slow cooker, allowing you to get it going in the morning when your schedule allows and then dinner can be on the table with minimal effort in the evening.
The first night I made tacos using the shredded chipotle beef. The next night, we used it in taco salads. We even ate it a third night, served on burger buns and topped with some cheese. It would also be delicious on tostadas, nachos, or as a filling for enchiladas. The recipe makes a lot, so you can get a lot of different meals out of it, or even freeze some for later (although I haven’t tried freezing it myself). I plan to make this again really soon and make some simple enchiladas with the beef, cheese, and my favorite red enchilada sauce.
Don’t be worried about the amount of chipotle chiles or chili powder called for in the recipe. After the beef cooks, you take it out and shred it, and then mix in only part of the sauce, so it doesn’t end up being overly spicy.
One year ago: Vegetable Enchiladas
Shredded Chipotle Beef
A delicious filling for tacos, tostadas, taco salad, nachos, enchiladas, and more!
Makes 8-12 servings, depending on use.
- 2 onions, minced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded, and minced
- 3 tbsp. minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo (I removed the seeds)
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1/3 cup chili powder
- 1 tbsp. ground cumin
- 1 (15-oz.) can tomato sauce
- 2 tsp. light brown sugar
- 3 lbs. boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and halved
- Salt and pepper
- Microwave onion, garlic, jalapeno, chipotle chiles, vegetable oil, tomato paste, chili powder, and cumin in a bowl, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker.
- Stir in tomato sauce and brown sugar. Season beef with salt and pepper and add to slow cooker. Coat beef evenly with sauce mixture. Cover and cook until beef is tender, 9-11 hours on low or 5-7 hours on high.
- Transfer beef to large bowl, let cool slightly, then shred into bite-size pieces, discarding excess fat; cover to keep warm.
- Let braising liquid settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from surface using large spoon.
- Toss shredded beef with 1 cup braising liquid; add more liquid as needed to keep meat moist and flavorful. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Filling can be refrigerated in airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month. If frozen, let filling thaw completely before using.
Source: Slightly adapted from America’s Test Kitchen, Slow Cooker Revolution, via Apple A Day.
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As their name suggests, these brownies are deliciously rich and fudgy. They are quick and easy to mix up, and you probably have all of the ingredients on hand, making them an ideal treat to whip up when a sudden chocolate craving hits. I added in some dark chocolate chips because, well, why not? I like the extra bits of chocolate that the chips add, especially when the brownies are slightly warm so the chocolate chips are nice and melty.
There are many, many brownie recipes out there, and if you haven’t found your favorite yet (or even if you have), I encourage you to try these. I know I’ll make them again and again.
One year ago: Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting and Cappuccino Cookies
Rich, Fudgy Brownies
Makes one 9-inch square pan of brownies
- 8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter, plus more softened for the pan
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 3 oz. (2/3 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour; plus more for the pan
- 2 1/2 oz. (3/4 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch-square metal baking pan with foil, and then butter and flour the foil, tapping out the excess flour.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the butter to a large bowl. Whisk or stir in the sugar, followed by all four of the eggs and the vanilla. Stir in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt, starting slowly to keep the ingredients from flying out of the pan and stirring more vigorously as you go. Stir until the batter is smooth and uniform, about 1 minute. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan, smoothing it so it fills the pan evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it, about 35-40 minutes. Let the brownies cool completely in the pan on a rack.
- Use the foil lining to remove the brownies from the pan. Cut into 16 squares. Keep brownies at room temperature, well wrapped.
Source: adapted from Fine Cooking.
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In preparation for our baby to arrive, I made up a large batch of this baked penne pasta. We enjoyed half of it for a few meals that week, and I froze the rest so we’d have a dinner ready during the busy early weeks with a newborn. (I also stocked our freezer with meatballs, chicken taquitos, and pizza dough for other easy meals.)
While it did take some effort to prepare this dish, the payoff in terms of number of meals we’ll get out of it made it worth the work. The different components come together nicely to make a really satisfying meal. Pasta, turkey sausage, tomato sauce with a bit of cream, and cheese all go into this delicious baked pasta. Don’t be wary of the cottage cheese in the recipe- it really works here, and you won’t even know it’s there. I was skeptical myself, but I’m so glad I didn’t skip it or make a substitution.
One year ago: Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
- 1 lb. cottage cheese
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 oz. grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 cups), divided
- Table salt
- 1 lb. penne or ziti pasta (I used whole wheat penne)
- 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 20 oz. turkey Italian sausage
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
- 5 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 (28 oz.) can tomato sauce
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves, divided (I used 1 tsp. dried basil instead)
- 1 tsp. sugar
- Ground black pepper
- 3/4 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 cup whole milk (or heavy cream)
- 8 oz. low-moisture mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk cottage cheese, eggs, and 1 cup Parmesan together in a medium bowl; set aside. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta; cook until the pasta begins to soften but is not yet cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Drain the pasta and leave in colander.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Crumble in the turkey sausage and cook until nearly browned. Add in the onion and garlic and continue to cook until the onion is softened and the sausage is completely browned. Stir in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and oregano (and dried basil, if using dried instead of fresh); simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Off the heat, stir in 1/2 cup fresh basil (if using) and the sugar, and season with salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and milk. Transfer the mixture to the now-empty stockpot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, 3-4 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat. (At this point, I removed about half of the milk sauce and only ended up using the other half.) To the milk sauce, add the cottage cheese mixture, 1 1/2 cups of the tomato sauce, and 3/4 cup mozzarella. Stir to combine. Add the pasta and toss to coat thoroughly with the sauce.
- Transfer the pasta to a 9×13-inch baking dish and spread the remaining tomato sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan over the top. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil sprayed lightly with cooking spray, and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil and continue to cook until the cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, about 30 minutes longer. Cool for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons fresh basil and serve.
Source: Annie’s Eats, adapted from Cook’s Illustrated.
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This pound cake was my first baking project after William was born. I could not wait to get back into the kitchen, especially since I wasn’t able to enjoy sweets while pregnant (and therefore didn’t bake much). The other day, William was fed and napping and I was feeling up to it, so I made this ricotta orange pound cake.
I’ve enjoyed a couple of slices of this cake with a morning cup of coffee, but it’s actually more of a dessert treat than a breakfast treat. It’s incredibly rich and buttery, with a delicious orange flavor. The cake would make a great dessert topped with some fresh strawberries. I’d recommend macerating the strawberries to bring out their juices, by sprinkling them with a little sugar and then letting them sit for a few hours so that they become sweet and syrupy. Or do what I’ve been doing the past few days and just grab a small slice here and there to snack on.
One year ago: Blueberry Smoothie
Ricotta Orange Pound Cake
Makes one 9 x 5-inch loaf
For the pound cake:
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour
- 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. almond extract or 2 tbsp. Amaretto
- Zest of 1 orange
For the orange syrup:
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/3 cup sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter bottom and sides of a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan; dust with flour, tapping out excess. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, add the cake flour, baking powder, and salt, and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, ricotta, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the mixer still running, beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla, almond extract (or Amaretto), and orange zest and mix until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients, a small amount at a time, until just incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake is beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing loaf to a wire rack. Place a sheet of parchment paper below the rack.
- While the loaf is cooling, make the orange syrup. In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the orange juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Use a toothpick to poke holes in the top and sides of the warm loaf. Brush the top and sides of the loaf with orange syrup. Let the syrup soak into the cake and brush again. Let the cake cool completely.
Source: Sweet Pea’s Kitchen, originally adapted from Food Network.
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Posted in Main Dish, Pizza, tagged pizza on May 8, 2012 |
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I can’t believe I waited so long to try this pizza. With how often we eat homemade pizza in our house (pretty much weekly), I definitely should have tried this recipe sooner. I’ve wanted to ever since I first saw it posted on Annie’s blog, which was over a year ago. Well, now that I’ve tried it, I can say with certainty that I will be making it again soon, and often.
It’s amazing how such a simple combination- a little bit of white sauce, some tiny pieces of broccoli (which roast up beautifully as the pizza cooks), a bit of spinach and some cheese- can produce such a delicious pizza. But you don’t have to take my word for it, try it for yourself. Just try not to wait as long as I did before you really do!
One year ago: Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce and Dulce de Leche Cupcakes
Makes 1 pizza
For the white sauce:
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 tbsp. flour
- 3/4 cup milk (I used 2%), cream, or half-and-half
- 1 clove garlic, smashed
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 6 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
For the pizza:
- Pizza dough
- Olive oil, for brushing
- 1/2 cup packed baby spinach leaves, torn
- 1 cup very small broccoli florets
- 2 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
- Grated Parmesan
- To make the white sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until bubbling and light golden, about 1 minute. Whisk in the milk or cream and garlic, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and bubbles. Remove from the heat and whisk in the grated Parmesan until completely melted and smooth. Discard the garlic clove. (Note: This will make a bit more sauce than you need for the pizza.)
- To make the pizza, preheat the oven with a pizza stone inside at 500 degrees F for at least 30 minutes. Roll out the pizza dough into a 12-14 inch round. Place dough on a sheet of parchment paper, placed on a baking sheet (for easy transfer to the pizza stone). Lightly brush the outside edges of the crust with olive oil. Spread a thin layer of the white sauce over the dough, leaving a border clear around the edge for the crust. Sprinkle the torn spinach leaves over the white sauce. Evenly distribute the broccoli florets over the dough. Sprinkle on the shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. Finish with additional grated Parmesan, if desired.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 425 degrees F. Transfer the pizza on the parchment to the preheated pizza stone and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the crust is lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before slicing and serving.
Source: Annie’s Eats.
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Posted in Uncategorized on May 3, 2012 |
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I’m excited to announce that our beautiful baby boy, William, arrived last week. He is the sweetest little guy and we are completely smitten with him. We are so happy to have our precious little William home with us, and he’s such a content and happy baby.
Julia has really taken to her role as big sister, and loves to help with baby brother by getting a diaper or burp cloth, or entertaining him with the monkeys that swing over his pack and play during diaper changes.
Right now we are busy adjusting to and enjoying life as a family of four, but I’ve already been able to get back into the kitchen a little bit. Before William was born I worked ahead writing a few posts, so you should still find some new recipes here in the near future.
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