March 29, 2011

Snickerdoodle Muffins

I am highly suggestible.  After seeing this recipe featured on the Foodbuzz Top 9 yesterday, I really wanted to make snickerdoodle muffins.  Then today, I saw that this blogger made them, and I was convinced that I needed to make these muffins tonight.


Snickerdoodles are one of my favorite cookies, and I love muffins in general, so the concept of a snickerdoodle muffin was highly appealing, and this recipe did not disappoint!  Chris and I both LOVED these muffins. 



Snickerdoodle Muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes (each batch)


Ingredients (20 muffins)
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
Instructions
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
  • In a stand mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Then add vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add half of the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and stir to combine. Next, add the sour cream and buttermilk, mixing to combine. Add the rest of the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined.
  • In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon for the topping. Then, using a large Oxo scoop (or ice cream scoop), add a scoop of batter to the bowl. Gently roll the batter until it is evenly coated in cinnamon and sugar, and then place the ball of batter into a muffin liner.
  • After all of the muffins have been rolled, sprinkle the leftover cinnamon sugar onto the tops of all the muffins.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes, until they are just baked through.
Recipe adapted from: Susi's Kochen und Backen Adventures.
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March 23, 2011

Farro Soup

When I picked up farro for the first time a couple weeks ago at Outpost Natural Foods, I searched online for ideas on what to make.  I came across a recommendation for farro soup in a forum, unfortunately I can't remember exactly where, might have been chowhound.com.  Anyway, here was the recommendation...

1. Saute onion, carrot, celery in a bit of olive oil until beginning to soften.
2. Add 2 cups chopped canned tomatoes, 4 cups chicken stock, 1 cup farro.
3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until farro is tender, about 1/2 hr.
4. Then stir in 4 cups roughly chopped fresh spinach and cook only until spinach is tender.
5. Serve with fresh parmesan.

Click here for a printer-friendly version of the recipe I made tonight.  Chris and I both loved this soup!!  I followed the recommendation for the most part, but added 4oz of small shell pasta and a lot more spinach.  Also, neither of liked the fresh parmesan with this soup.

By the way, if you've never heard of farro, this blog post offers some great general information.

March 17, 2011

Mint Chocolate Milkshake

Earlier this week, Chris asked me to make him a milkshake, which is something I had never made and I was surprised at how tasty his strawberry shake ended up being.  With that in mind, I decided I wanted a mint shake after dinner tonight and it was so good!

I hear people talk about shamrock shakes at McDonalds and never having tried one didn't really understand the appeal, but now I think I do.

1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup milk
7 mint patties
5 drops of green food coloring

The above quantities just barely fit in the container that came with my immersion blender, so if you're using the same amount just be cautious and make sure the entire blender is immersed before turning it on...or you could go traditional and just use a normal blender :)

Sweet Potato & Kale Colcannon

After seeing this recipe on Simply Recipes, it seemed like a great side dish for St. Patrick's Day.  Not really a holiday that we celebrate, but when a "St. Patrick's favorite" involves potatoes and kale, I'm in!

 
Sweet Potato Colcannon

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes


Ingredients (serves 2 as main dish)
  • 1 large sweet potato (1 pound), peeled and cut into 1" chunks
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 5 cups chopped kale
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup milk
Instructions
  • In a 3 quart saucepan, add potato pieces and cover with cold water by at least an inch. Add salt and bring to a boil.
  • Boil for about 10 minutes until potato pieces are fork tender. Remove from heat and drain potatoes.
  • Return the empty pot to the stove and melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté for 1 minute. Then add the kale and sauté for 3 minutes or until wilted.
  • Remove pan from heat and stir in the milk. Next add the potatoes to the kale mixture and combine using a potato masher. Add salt to taste and serve hot, with a little butter in the center, if desired.
Recipe adapted from: Simply Recipes
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March 14, 2011

Two Bean Sloppy Joes

Daylight can really play tricks on your mind.  Tonight it tricked me into a cardio workout.  I got home from work at my usual time around 6:30pm tonight, but because the sun was still shining brightly, it felt like I still had a whole evening ahead of me....so I went to the gym.  This is noteworthy because I hate doing cardio, and have only been going to the gym twice a week for yoga for more weeks than I'd like to admit to.

So anyway, after getting back home at 8pm I was happy that I had scheduled an easy dinner on our weekly menu plan.  This recipe goes way back to our first apartment together in 2005.  It's a quick and easy favorite (and vegetarian!).  Tonight I substituted one fresh green bell pepper for the frozen beans and pepper.

March 12, 2011

Hasselback Potatoes

I had an enjoyable Saturday, doing nothing really of note, just getting caught up on things around the house.  Now I'm listening to great music on Pandora after eating a wonderful dinner. 

After seeing hasselback potatoes mentioned on lots of food blogs, I decided I needed to try them too.  Here's the recipe I used.  For the pesto, I used pesto that I had frozen from the batch I made the other day (I moved it to the refrigerator yesterday).

Cutting 3/4 of the way through a potato seems easy enough, but I managed to cut right through middle of one.  Practice makes perfect though, because the second potato worked perfectly.


Next I stuffed the garlic in, which again sounds easier than it really easy because I hadn't yet read this tip "You might actually need to shove them in…the potato might be pretty tight."  I had to use a paring knife to create enough space to shove the garlic in.


Chris was too anxious to wait the 10 minute specified cooling time, so he got a taste before me.  As he devoured his potato, I asked what he thought...

Chris: "I love the pesto."
Me: "How's the potato?"
Chris: "Anything would taste good with this pesto!"

10 minutes later I could confirm that these potatoes are outstanding.  It makes me want to combine pesto and sweet potatoes more often.  Maybe pesto in mashed sweet potatoes?