Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cumin Pumpkin Soup

The seasonings give this soup just enough character and flavor without over powering the pumpkin. Serve with crusty bread and a side salad for a complete meal.

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  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup low fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Fresh sage leaves
  • hot sauce, optional
  • Pumpkin seeds, for garnish

In a medium saucepan, whisk together pumpkin, broth, milk, and cumin. Add bay leaves and set pan over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat, remove bay leaves and season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Garnish with sage, popcorn and pumpkin seeds before serving.

Recipe courtesy of Robin Miller

Walking Fish CSF - Bi-weekly 4

Share description: Grey Triggerfish of Beaufort, NC (40-70 miles out into the Atlantic Ocean) and Southern Flounder from the shallow waters of Pamlico & Core Sound.

I’m not able to pick-up this weeks share, but the CSF has a great online forum which allows me to contact others, who weren’t able to enroll this session, to see if they would like to purchase my share this week. I easily found someone that actually works with me on another floor in my building. I appreciate that the CSF makes it so easy!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

CEiMB: (Chocolate Chip) Pumpkin Pie Muffins

Hosted by Oddball Oven Mitt

Delicious – we loved these! I stirred in a cup of dark chocolate chunks to the batter, since they were so good in the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies last weekend. Most of these are going into my freezer to enjoy later as a quick breakfast, snack, or dessert.

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  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup low fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.

In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, molasses, oil and 1 egg until combined. Add the other egg and whisk well. Whisk in the pumpkin and vanilla. Whisk in the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Whisk just until combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of 1 of the muffins comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the muffins to loosen them and unmold. Cool completely on the rack.

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Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

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Monday: leftovers, Yoga Foundations II class

Tuesday: CEiMB: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pie Muffins

Wednesday: Cumin Pumpkin Soup

Thursday: Topsail Beach, beach, beach Weekend!!

Friday: Slow Cooker Choucroute

Saturday: Relaxing Beach Food of some sort

Sunday: Sausage, Kale, and Cranberry Pasta

Spaghetti and Meatball Risotto

I’m excited about two great new cookbooks that have just been published – Martha Stewarts’ Dinner at Home and Ellie Krieger’s So Easy. I’m thinking about cooking my way through both of these books starting in the new year.

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I love Rachael Ray’s fun twists on food, here’s another great one. Tomato flavored risotto topped with mini-meatballs!  I needed to use up some fresh mushrooms, so I tossed them into the risotto mix about half way through the cooking time.

This meal is as delicious as it looks.

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  • 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce or puree
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus some for liberal drizzling
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves, torn or thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs, eyeball it
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 pound ground beef, pork and veal mix
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, a small handful

Preheat oven to 400˚F.

Place the tomato sauce and stock in medium saucepot and heat over low heat. Keep warm.

Place a medium-sized pot with rounded sides over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan EVOO. Add onions and 2 cloves of garlic and sauté a couple of minutes to soften. Add the rice and turn to coat. Toast for about 1 minute then add the tomato paste and stir a minute more, stir in wine and cook until the liquid evaporates. Begin adding a couple of ladles of the tomato-stock at a time. Each time you add the liquid, stir the risotto vigorously to develop the starches. Rice will cook 18 minutes total. (If the rice is al dente and creamy, yet you still have a ladle or 2 of liquid left, do not feel forced to use it.) In the last minute or so of cooking time, stir in the butter until it melts then add 1/2 cup cheese, a couple of handfuls. Turn off heat and stir in basil.

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Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, moisten the breadcrumbs with milk. Add egg, meat, parsley, 1/4 cup cheese, salt and pepper to the bowl and mix to combine. Score meat into 4 sections and form 8 small balls from each section, the size of marbles. Place the balls on a baking sheet and coat them with a liberal drizzle of EVOO. Bake 5 minutes until cooked through and golden.

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Serve risotto in shallow bowls topped with 8 mini meatballs per serving.

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Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Country Bread Bowls

Andy has fond memories of eating soup out of store bought bread bowls. I’ve attempted to make these for him before, but we weren’t really pleased with the results.

I’m so glad that I was able to redeem myself with this recipe – they couldn’t have turned out any better!

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Buffalo Chicken Chili was served inside the scooped out bowls.

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water

In a large bowl (or bowl of an electric mixer-I used my kitchen aid), dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

Add salt, oil, whole wheat flour and 2 cups all-purpose flour to the yeast mixture; beat well. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well with an electric mixer at medium speed after each addition until a soft but not sticky dough is formed (you may not need to use all 7 cups, I think I used 6 1/2 cups).

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When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes (or let knead in an electric mixer). Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.

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Punch dough down, and divide into 6-8 equal portions. Shape each portion into a round ball. Place loaves on lightly greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal (or use silpat liners or parchment paper). Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 35 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees, for at least 30 minutes.

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Just before baking, give a quick, gentle slash with a serrated knife. Place dough in the oven and toss in 3-4 ice cubes (this will create steam and help the bowls have a crusty exterior). Turn the oven down to 425 degrees and bake 20-25 minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks.

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Recipe adapted from Real Mom Kitchen and Brew & Bake

Gingerbread Sugar Cookies

This dough is so pliable and super easy to work with. There is no chill time required, which equals hot, chewy, gingerbread cookies in about 20 minutes time! I’ll be using this as my fall dough and keep my traditional cookie dough recipe for use the remainder of the year.

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Yields 1 1/2 dozen

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 and 1/4 cup plus 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350.

In a small pot, melt butter. Stir in molasses and sugar, and cook until mixture is smooth and not grainy. Remove from the heat and cool to lukewarm.

In a separate large bowl, combine 2 and 1/4 cup flour, soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Pour butter mixture over dry ingredients and stir to combine. Work in remaining 1/4 cup flour. Dough should be like play dough.

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On a lightly floured surface, roll out to a generous 1/4 inch thick and cut shapes.

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Bake for about 8-10 minutes, depending on size of cookie shape. Let cool for two minutes on cookie sheet and transfer to rack. 

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Frost as desired. (I used 1 1/3 cups of powdered sugar and 2 Tbsp water, adding and whisking it in 1/2 Tbsp at a time, plus food coloring of choice.)

Recipe courtesy of Prudence Pennywise

Friday, October 23, 2009

Apple Crisp

I studied several apple crisp recipes and came up with the combination below…which turned to be exactly what I was hoping for!

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Filling

  • 6 McIntosh apples, unpeeled and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Topping:

  • 2/3 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons agave nectar
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For the filling: Mix all the ingredients together. Divide into six 8-ounce ramekins or an 8x8 baking dish.

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For topping: Mix the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in large bowl. Add in the liquids; portion out onto the tops of each individual ramekin. Bake crisps for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Cashew Chicken

Last weekend, we headed out for General Tso’s Chicken and a movie. Tonight we decided to rent a movie and prepare our own great tasting,  healthy Chinese dish that was a cinch to make at home.

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  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 scallions, white and green parts separated, each cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews (4 ounces), toasted
  • Brown rice, for serving (optional)
  1. In a medium bowl, toss chicken with cornstarch until chicken is coated; season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Cook half the chicken, tossing often, until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Add remaining oil and chicken to skillet along with the garlic and white parts of scallions. Cook, tossing often, until chicken is browned, about 3 minutes. Return first batch of chicken to pan. Add vinegar; cook until evaporated, about 30 seconds.foodblog 010 foodblog 012
  4. Add hoisin sauce and 1/4 cup water; cook, tossing, until chicken is cooked through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in scallion greens and cashews. Serve immediately over white rice, if desired. foodblog 015
Recipe courtesy of Everyday Food

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Triangle Blogger Meet-up

I'm excited to say that Sarah and Allie have planned a blogger meet-up at Six Plates Wine Bar in Durham on November 19th at 7 PM!! For all the details check out their posts here or here!

Earlier this year, blogger Diana and I met up at Six Plates and had a fabulous time!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

CEiMB: Easy Chicken Mushroom Quesadillas

Check out the article that was in today’s News & Observer on my CSF :) "This is a way for people to connect to the local food system," Stoll said. "And by encouraging them to support their local fisheries, there also are environmental benefits in the long run."


Hosted by Culinary Delights

This is one of those recipes that can’t really go wrong, as long as you have warm bread and gooey cheese…the dish is going to be great. The mushrooms gave a nice texture contrast to the spinach and cheese. (I decided to leave the chicken out.) I served the quesadilla with roasted asparagus (Tossed with EVOO, smoked salt and pepper –then baked at 450 for 15-20 minutes.)

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  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 8 ounces white button mushrooms, (about 3 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups cooked chopped skinless, boneless chicken breast (1 breast half)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves, sliced into ribbons
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 (10-inch) whole-grain flour tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese mix or Cheddar
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream

Heat the oil in a large skillet over a medium heat. Add the onions and mushrooms and cook until the mushroom water is evaporated and they begin to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add chicken, cumin, chili powder and oregano and stir until all spices are incorporated. Add spinach, salt and pepper and cook until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.

Lay 1 tortilla on a flat work surface and sprinkle with 1/4 cup shredded cheese. Spoon 1/2 chicken and vegetable mixture on top of cheese, then top with an additional 1/4 cup cheese. Top with another flour tortilla. Heat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray over medium heat. Carefully place 1 quesadilla in pan and cook 3 minutes. Using a large spatula, gently flip quesadilla and cook an additional 3 minutes until lightly browned and cheese is melted. Repeat with second quesadilla. Slice each quesadilla into quarters. Place 2 quarters on a plate with 1 tablespoon sour cream and 2 tablespoons salsa.

Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

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Monday: leftovers, Yoga Foundations II class

Tuesday: Girls Night Out with Kelly S.

Wednesday: CEiMB: Easy Chicken Mushroom Quesadillas

Thursday: leftovers, 60 minute Massage

Friday: Cashew Chicken  

Saturday: Spaghetti Meatball Risotto 

Sunday: Buffalo Chicken Chili and Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan

Better Beef Lasagna

Delicious, we really enjoyed the addition of the mushrooms and spinach in this otherwise classic lasagna dish.

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  • 12 ounces whole-wheat lasagna noodles (15 noodles)
  • 8 ounces lean ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces portobello mushrooms, diced
  • I also added a diced onion and garlic clove
  • 4 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 (15 ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 3 ounces grated part-skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cook the noodles al dente according to the directions on the package. Drain them well then lay out on waxed paper to prevent them from sticking to each other.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until no longer pink, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks, about 3 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate, discarding any fat remaining in the pan.

Add the oil to the same pan and heat over a medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally until all the liquid has evaporated and they begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Return the meat to the pan. Stir in 2 cups of the tomato sauce and simmer for 2 minutes.

In a medium bowl combine the ricotta cheese, spinach, egg, the salt, the pepper and nutmeg.

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Spread 1 cup of tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Place a layer of lasagna noodles on top, touching but not overlapping. Spread half of the ricotta mixture on top of the noodles. Add another layer of noodles. Top with half the beef-mushroom mixture. Repeat with another layer of noodles, then remaining cheese mixture, more noodles, then remaining beef mixture and finally 1 more layer of noodles. Top the final layer of noodles with the remaining sauce, then sprinkle with the grated cheeses. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes more.

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Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger

Chicken-Pot Pancakes

This weeks Blogger Secret Ingredient, Pancake Mix, was chosen by Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point. I had been planning to make Everyday Foods’ chicken pot pie with ham recipe, until earlier in the week when I saw this recipe by Rachael Ray. I loved that it turned the ingredients of a traditional pot pie into a savory pancake with pan sauce brown gravy! Yum!! Plus, it makes for a unique pancake mix BSI entry :)

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  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley or tarragon, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 cups buttermilk pancake mix
  • 1 cup milk, as needed per package directions
  • 2 eggs, as needed per package directions
  • 1 cup store-bought rotisserie chicken or 2 cooked breasts, shredded
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, defrosted
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 small zucchini, shredded, optional
*Note, though the recipe doesn't call for it, I recommended sautéing the carrots and celery a few minutes before adding them to the batter.

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Stir in flour and cook about 1 minute. Whisk in stock, dill or tarragon and Dijon, and cook until well thickened and season with salt and pepper.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat with 1/2 tablespoon butter. While the skillet is heating up, mix together the pancake mix, milk and eggs in a large bowl then fold in the chicken, peas, carrots, celery, scallion and zucchini until incorporated.

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Pour mix into the skillet, making the pancakes as large as you want (just make sure there’s a little bit of everything in each). Cook until golden brown on each side, about 2 minutes per side, and continue with the rest of the batter -- add a little more butter to the pan before each batch. Place cooked pancakes on a plate and keep warm in a 250˚F oven with foil on top.

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When all the pancakes are done, stack 2-3 per person on a plate topped with the herb-Dijon gravy as the “syrup”.

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Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Super Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I recently started seeing these cookies pop up everywhere, until a week or so ago I had never heard of the combination of soft, chewy chocolate chip cookies blended with sweet pumpkin and fragrant spices. I immediately felt like I was missing out and it turns out I was!

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  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (or 1c ap & 1c ww)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce or canola oil
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Position a rack in the middle of the oven . Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and butter the paper.

Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices together in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar until smooth and lightened in color, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. On low speed, mix the oil, pumpkin, and vanilla until blended. Mix in the flour mixture to incorporate it. Mix in the chips.

Using an ice cream scoop with a 1/4-cup capacity, scoop mounds of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies at least 2 1/2-inches apart. You could also simply use a 1/4-cup measuring cup if you don't have a scoop. Use a thin metal spatula to smooth and flatten the rounds.

Bake the cookies one sheet at a time until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, about 16 minutes. Cool them on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then use a wide metal spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies can be stored in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

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Recipe courtesy of Joy the Baker

We’re loading these sweet treats up, for an evening energy boost, as we cheer on UK v Auburn with our friends – Go Big Blue!

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fish Tacos with Crispy-Bottomed Yellow Rice and Garlic-Sherry Mushrooms

Walking Fish CSF - Bi-weekly 3

Share description: Gray Trout of Cedar Island, NC

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This week I simply sautéed the trout over high heat with a dab of butter, EVOO, salt and pepper. Once it was cooked, it was topped with squeezed fresh lemon juice.

The fish was quite flaky and before I knew it I decided to turn these into fish tacos. I had a leftover half of an avocado in the fridge and whole wheat wraps in the freezer. I also topped them with a little ranch dressing and fresh parsley from my garden.

The fish tacos were served with Crispy-Bottomed Yellow Rice and Garlic-Sherry Mushrooms.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

CEiMB: Tuscan Vegetable Soup

Hosted by Lobster and Fishsticks

Soup season has finally made it back again! And North Carolina has finally turned cold and dreary, we had a high of 58 today! It was just Saturday when I was outside thinking it was muggy and humid.

  • 1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 carrots, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced, (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 small zucchini, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 32 ounces low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups chopped baby spinach leaves
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan, optional

In a small bowl mash half of the beans with a masher or the back of a spoon, and set aside. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, garlic, thyme, sage, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and cook stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the broth and tomatoes with the juice and bring to a boil. Add the mashed and whole beans and the spinach leaves and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes more. Serve topped with Parmesan, if desired.

Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is a fantastic, hearty soup! I think this might just be our new favorite…even better is that it can all be thrown together with pantry staples.

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  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz size)
  • 1 packet enchilada or taco seasoning mix
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
  • 2-3 boneless chicken breasts
  • 4 oz sour cream or cream cheese
  • Toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, lime, avocado, or tortilla chips

In crock pot, mix the enchilada packet together with the water and tomato sauce. Add chicken, black beans, corn and diced tomatoes on top of that. Cook on low 6-8 hours.

Stir in sour cream. Cover and cook about 20 minutes or until thickened. Before serving, take out chicken and shred or dice, then put back and stir it all together. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, lime, avocado, or tortilla chips.

Recipe courtesy of Real Mom Kitchen

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Herbed Cheese Pizza with Rosemary Potato Fries

I’d heard many great things about this Cooking Light pizza recipe. We typically make pizza on the weekends, but after a long day at work I couldn’t think of anything better to treat myself to. The homegrown fresh herbs made both of these dishes outstanding.

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  • premade pizza dough
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon hot paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 10 ounce sliced kasseri cheese
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Prepare topping: combine oregano, cumin, paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to pan. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, garlic, bay leaf, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat; discard bay leaf.

Preheat oven to 450°.

Working with dough, roll into a circle on a lightly floured surface; place circle on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Top crust with tomato mixture, cheese, and oregano mixture. Bake at 450° for 12 minutes or until crust are lightly browned. Sprinkle evenly with parsley.

Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

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Monday: (Dinner-to-go) Yoga Foundations II class

Tuesday: Herbed Cheese Pizza and Rosemary Potato Fries

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Thursday: Walking Fish CSF – Fish Tacos with Crispy-Bottomed Yellow Rice

Friday: Dining out

Saturday: Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Cookies and Dinner with the Isaac's

Sunday: Chicken Pot Pancakes and Better Beef Lasagna

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Reuben Stuffed Potatoes

These were delicious! We love to make healthy comfort foods on the weekends.

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  • 4 large russet or Idaho potatoes, scrubbed clean
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chives, chopped
  • 1/1 2 cups leftover corned beef or thick deli slices (each about 1/4 inch), chopped
  • 1 cup sauerkraut

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Pierce potatoes several times with a fork and wrap in paper towels. Microwave on high for 13 to 15 minutes, until potatoes are cooked through. Remove from microwave and cool until potatoes are easy to handle. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop all but 1/8 inch of the inside of the potato, leaving skin intact. Reserve scooped potato flesh.

Brush both inside and outside of potatoes with a touch of oil and sprinkle with salt. Place potatoes, skin-side down, on a baking sheet and bake until skins are crisp and edges are golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Mash the potato flesh with the spicy brown mustard, milk, salt, ground black pepper and chives. Fold in the chopped corned beef.

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Fill the potatoes with the corned beef-potato mixture so they are over-stuffed. Pile sauerkraut over the potatoes then top with shredded Swiss cheese. Pop into the oven until golden and bubbly on top.

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

Brown Butter Toffee Blondies

My favorite blondies…

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Makes about 1 dozen

  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or cashews 
  • 1 cup toffee bits (or blend with 1/2 cup butterscotch chips)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; butter and flour parchment paper.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the butter until it turns golden brown; remove from heat, and let cool. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine browned butter and both sugars; stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Attach bowl to mixer; add eggs. Using the paddle attachment, beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla, and beat to combine. Add flour mixture, walnuts, and toffee bits. Mix until thoroughly combined, and pour into prepared pan.
  4. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes (do not overbake). Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before turning out of pan onto a cutting board. Peel off parchment paper; cut blondies into 3-inch squares. Blondies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.
Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart