Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Buttermilk Oatmeal Muffins

 I loooove recipes that are easy and taste great the first time around. These were just that, and my husband and I loved how they turned out. 

Recipe taken from

  • 2 cups oats
  • 2 cups buttermilk 
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter or oil
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup white flour 
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
In a bowl, soak the oats in buttermilk for 15 minutes.  Stir in eggs, sugars, and butter (or oil).  In another bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Stir into oat mixture just until moistened. (don't over mix)  Fill paper lined muffin cups 1/2 to 3/4 full.  Bake at 400 degrees for 12-14 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.

I used all white whole wheat flour instead of half white/half wheat, and they were great. I also used the substitution for buttermilk of adding lemon juice to the milk.  

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Annie's Eats

I stumbled across this cute little blog, Annie's Eats, that has some delicious looking desserts. I didn't even check out the other recipes because I was too busy drooling over these yummy looking creations. Let me know if you try any of the recipes out (or better yet, bring some over to share)!

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes
Recipe Here

Oatmeal Raisin Sandwich Cookies
Recipe Here

Peanut Butter Cup Surprise Cookies
Recipe Here

Black and White Rice Krispies
Recipe Here

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Veggie Stuffed Twice Baked Potato Boats

Here's a little bit healthier take on twice baked potatoes. i simplified it down some and just used frozen veggies and they were still pretty yummy. I think you are probably supposed to cut them the other direction, but I was feeling creative. I think they look like cute little potato cupcakes :) 

Recipe by Cat Cora
found on
Ingredients:Serves 4

4 well-cleaned potatoes
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup grated low-fat cheese , such as sharp cheddar or Parmesan
1 tsp. Italian herb seasoning
1/2 cup frozen broccoli florets
1/2 cup shelled frozen peas , thawed
1/2 cup sliced frozen carrots , thawed
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
2 Tbsp. chopped olives
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 slices turkey bacon , cooked until crispy and crumbled
Preheat oven to 350°. Bake the potatoes for 1 hour. Remove and let cool until able to handle. Cut each in half and scoop out the insides to create "boats."

In a large bowl, mix the insides of the potatoes with the butter or olive oil, grated cheese and herbs, and stir until combined. Stir in all veggies, season to taste with salt and pepper and scoop mixture back into each potato half.

Pop back into oven and cook for about 10 minutes, or until cheese is fully melted. Top with salsa or crumbled turkey bacon if desired, or enjoy straight from oven, serving 2 potato boats per person.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

BBQ Chicken Salad with Cilantro Ranch Dressing

I think this one came from favorite family recipes (link on side) but i can't remember for sure. Next time I would add some of those thin tortilla chip strips to make it more like CPK's version.

3 cups thinly sliced green leaf lettuce
1 cup corn
1 cup black beans
8 grape tomatoes, halved
1 cooked grilled chicken breast
1 cup favorite BBQ sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup prepared ranch dressing
1 heaping tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro leaves

Place lettuce into a salad bowl. Layer with corn, black beans, and tomatoes. Dice cooked chicken breast and mix with BBQ sauce. Top over salad and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

Place ranch dressing and cilantro leaves into a small bowl to combine. Drizzle over salad and serve.

**This recipe is for 1 large serving, double accordingly**

Argentine Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

from Viking Home Chefs

Serves 4

1 (packed) cup fresh cilantro
1/4 (packed) cup fresh oregano
1 (packed) cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/4 cup red wine vinegar, or to taste
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 (1 1/4 pound) skirt steak

1. Combine the herbs, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper in the work bowl of a food processor; pulse to combine. With the motor running, add the vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil, and process to make a thick, pureed sauce with some texture. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed with salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and vinegar. The chimichurri should be highly seasoned.*

2. Place the skirt steak in a large, plastic ziplock bag, and pour in about one-third cup of the chimichurri. (Note: reserve the remaining chimichurri to use as sauce). Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight, turning occasionally.
3. Remove the steak from the marinade, and discard. Shake off the excess, then pat dry with paper towel; allow to come to room temperature for 30 minutes.

4. Preheat the grill to medium-high. Clean the grates with a stiff brush, then oil liberally to prevent sticking. (Note: to use a grill pan, preheat an oiled grill pan to medium high heat).

5. Using tongs, place the steak onto the hot oiled grill and cook for about 2 minutes. Without turning the steak, rotate it 90 degrees and continue cooking until the meat is seared and crusty on the outside, about 1 to 2 minutes more; this will produce beautiful cross-hatch grill marks. Flip the steak over and repeat the process for the second side. For best results, cook to medium-rare (knternal temperature 130 to 135 degrees)

6. Transfer the steak to a clean cutting board, and tent loosely with aluminum foil; set aside to rest for at least 5 to 10 minutes. when ready to serve, slice the steak across the grain on the diagonal into thin slices. Spoon some of the reserved Chimichurri sauce across the middle of the steak slices, and serve immediately.

Argentine Empanada Dough

from Viking Home Chefs

This recipe makes 12 (5 inch) shells. The empanada filling makes enough for 24 shells so plan accordingly.

2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, frozen, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 stick chilled unsalted butter (8 tablespoons), cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water*

1. place the flour and salt in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade attachment. Pulse a few times to combine. Remove the top of the processor and scatter the pieces of shortening and butter over the flour mixture. Being very careful to avoid the blade of the processor, use a fork to toss the cubes to coat them lightly with the flour mixture. Replace the top of the processor and pulse 12 to 15 times, holding each pulse for one second. The mixture should resemble a coarse meal with some pea-size butter lumps.

2. Add 1/3 cup water and pulse 2 to 3 times. Pinch a small amount of the dough with your fingers to see that it holds together. If the dough does not hold together, add more water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, pulsing until incorporated; then test the mixture again. (Note: the mixture will be in particles and will not hold together without being pressed together)

3. Turn the dough out onto a silicone mat, and divide into two equal portions. Place half of the dough mixture on a large square of plastic wrap; pull up the sides of the plastic wrap and twist, forcing the dough together. With the heels of your hands press the mixture together until the dough forms one piece. Flatten into a disk and wrap well in plastic wrap; repeat with the remaining dough. Refrigerate the dough disks until firm, at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

4. Before rolling out, remove the disks from the refrigerator, and let stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes to soften.

* Add ice to a measuring cup of water, and set aside. When you are ready to add water to the recipe, strain and measure the amount needed.

Make It Ahead: The dough can be tightly covered with plastic wrap, placed in a freezer ziplock bag, and frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw the dough completely in the fridge overnight. Never defrost pie dough in a microwave.

Argentine Empanada Filling

This is from a Viking Home Chef class we went to. I am posting this mainly for myself so I don't lose the recipe. It's a lot of work but quite tasty!

1/2 pound ground chuck (no less than 20 percent fat)
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium white or yellow onion, finely diced
1/2 medium red bell pepper, stem, ribs and seeds removed, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. paprika
1 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 3/4 tsp. each kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup currants (or raisins), rehydrated*
1 1/2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 green onions, green tops only, very finely sliced
1/2 cup pimiento-stuffed green olives, finely chopped
3 hard boiled eggs, finely chopped
1 recipe Empanada Dough (or purchase pre-made empanada shells)**

1. In a large saute pan, cook the beef over medium-high heat until browned and cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a bowl and set aside until needed. (Note: do not remove the drippings from the pan!)

2. Place the same pan with the beef drippings back over medium-high heat; add the oil, and heat through. Stir in the onions, cook until soft and translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the bell pepper and cook until tender, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the garlic, cumin, oregano, paprika, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and cook 1 minute more.

3. Add the water, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the beef back to the pain; stir in the currants, vinegar, parsley, green onions, olives, and boiled eggs. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed with salt and pepper (Note: the filling should be extremely flavorful- almost over the top, as the pastry will minimize the filling flavors). Set aside to cool completely before stuffing the empanadas.

4. On a silicone mat, roll one dough disk into a circle that is about 1/8 inch thick. Using a 5-inch round cutter, cut out as many circles as is possible without overlapping. Place a couple of sheets of parchment paper on your work surface, and transfer the dough circles to the parchment in a single even layer; do not allow the circles to touch, or they might stick. Re-roll the scrap dough, and cut out more circles- placing on the parchment as you make them. Repeat with the remaining dough until all of the empanada shells are formed. (Note: if not using immediately, cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to stuff. If using pre-made empanada shells, skip step 4 and move on to step 5).

5. Place a heaping tablespoonful of filling in the center of each circle, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the filling. Moisten the border with a finger dipped in warm water. Fold the empanada in half to make a turnover, then firmly press the edges together to seal. Crimp in 1/4 inch sections with your thumb and forefinger, folding the dough back over itself each time to form a rope-like pattern around the edges. Preheat oven to 400.

6. Place the empanadas on an oiled baking sheet at least 2 inches apart, and cook until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately. (Note: these are delicious served with chimichurri sauce!)

*Cover the currants (or raisins) with simmering water; allow to stand until plump and moist, about 10 to 20 minutes. Drain well, then proceed with recipe.

**Purchase empanada shells at your local Spanish or South American market. The preferred brand is Blancaflor Empanada Shells/Flaky Oven Dough, which provides an incredibly flaky, tender product. Some other brands we tested baked to a hard, dry consistency.

Make it ahead: The filling may be made up to 3 days in advance and stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator until needed. Or, the filling may be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and drain well before using.

Cake Batter Cookies- So Many Options!

So these aren't anything fancy, but when it's 8 or 9:00 and I'm ready to watch American Idol with a yummy treat this is a quick option that hits the spot. And if you stock up on cake mixes when they are on sale for 88 cents at the store it's a cheap way to go. Although this might be where the extra pregnancy pounds are coming from...

So you can use any cake batter to make a cookie using the general recipe of

1 cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil

Then pop 'em in the oven at 350 for about 9 minutes.

I mainly use devils food cake mix but I've also tried yellow cake mix and funfetti. Then I like to get creative with marshmallows on top, different frostings, roll them in sugar or powdered sugar, candy rolled inside (this is the base recipe for Rolo cookies), or last week I threw some extra chocolate chip cookie dough in.

Yum Yum Banana Bread

This one comes from Chris's side of the family. I was never a big banana bread person until I tried my mother-in-law's, it's so moist and tasty!

1 3/4 cup flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 ripe bananas

Stir flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Beat the sugar and shortening. Add eggs one at a time. Add milk. Add flour and banana alternately. Grease pan. Bake at 350 for 60-65 minutes (mine usually is done after 45 minutes).

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Chicken Pizzettes With Vegetables

I wouldn't say these are like, the best things I've ever had in my life, but they were pretty good for a really quick and easy, semi-nutritious, kid friendly lunch or dinner. The husband thought they'd be better with salsa or a different could play around with it.

Recipe created by Robin Miller
Found on

Ingredients:Serves 4

1 package chicken nuggets or tenders
4 whole wheat flour tortillas , taco size
3/4 cup prepared pizza sauce or pasta sauce , regular or reduced sodium
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups mixed, chopped vegetables, such as broccoli florets and mushrooms and bell peppers and onions and zucchini and pitted olives and baby spinach leaves
4 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. dried oregano , optional
Preheat the oven to 400ยบ. Arrange chicken nuggets on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes.

Remove chicken nuggets from the oven and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.

Arrange tortillas on a flat surface. Top each tortilla with 3 tablespoons of the pizza sauce.

Top the sauce with mozzarella cheese (1/4 cup per tortilla). Top the cheese with the chicken nugget pieces and any combination of vegetables.

Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and oregano (if using) over top.

Transfer pizzettes to baking sheets and bake 5 to 7 minutes, until cheese melts and tortilla is golden brown.