Monday, June 30, 2014

Absolutely Avocado's Crab And Avocado Quesadilla

So these crab and avocado quesadillas from Absolutely Avocados were good, just not as good as I had hoped.  They didn't have enough flavor, especially from the cheese.  I think if I made them again I would use pepperjack cheese, and I would put less other things to detract from the cheese and crab.  Still, these were easy, they tasted good, and Aaron, Owen and I gave them a 7 and Noah gave them an 8.  Each half of the a quesadilla, or two triangles is 429 calories with the sauce we used.  Here's what to do:

1 1/2 c Monterey Jack cheese
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 c diced green pepper
1/4 c corn
1/2 an onion, diced
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 avocado, thinly sliced
4 flour tortillas
8 oz imitation crab meat (or real crab meat if you can afford it :))
Sauce for dipping

Mix the first 6 ingredients together, then layer the first tortilla, the cheese mixture, 1/2 an avocado, and half the crab, then top with another tortilla.  Let cook for a little while, then flip carefully to the other side.  Repeat the steps again for the second quesadilla.  Serve with preferred dipping sauce.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Cook's Illustrated's Meatball Lasagna

While not our favorite lasagna, we liked this lasagna because it had great flavor and the meatballs are fun and different.  We all gave this an 8, and for 1/16 of the total, the calories are 392.  This came out of the Cook's Illustrated Best International Recipe cookbook, and we really enjoyed it, Jonah included.  He had thirds :).  I feel like this would be more to our family's taste with more sauce, the lasagna feels a little dry to us.  Anyway, here's what I did:

Meatballs and Sauce:
1 lb ground beef
1 c Parmesan cheese
1/2 c bread crumbs
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 c minced fresh basil
3 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
28 oz crushed tomatoes (I think this needs more)

Noodles and Cheese:
1 T salt
12 dried lasagna noodles (don't use the no-boil noodles)
1 lb mozzarella cheese
2 c Parmesan cheese

Cook the noodles in the salted boiling water, set aside.  Preheat oven to 450, grease a cookie sheet, and set it aside.  Mix the beef, cheese, breadcrumbs, eggs, 5 T of the basil, 1 t salt, and 1/2 t pepper together.  Make small meatballs, I made about 50 of them or so, and place them on the cookie sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Place the meatballs on a paper towel lined plate, then begin making the sauce.  Heat the oil and garlic in a pan over medium heat.  Stir in the tomatoes, bring to a simmer, then cook for about 10-15 minutes until the sauce thickens.  Remove the sauce from the heat, stir in the remaining basil and season with salt and pepper.  Stir the meatballs in to the sauce, and keep it warm.
Spray a 9x13 pan with oil, then smear 3 T of the tomato sauce onto the bottom of the pan.  Lay 3 noodles in the pan, then spread the meatball/sauce mixture over the noodles.  Sprinkle with 1 c of the mozzarella, and 1/2 c of the Parmesan.  Repeat this two more times, then finish with one more layer of noodles, 1 c of mozzarella, and 1/2 c of the Parmesan.  Heat the oven to 400, then bake for at least 20 minutes, or until cheese turns golden in spots and the sauce is bubbling.  Let rest for 10 minutes and then serve.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Cinnamon Roll French Toast

So I lived in Guaymas Mexico for a couple of years after Owen was born, and in the little tourist town right next to us was an internet cafe/restaurant called Evie's that had really good, Americanized food.  They had cinnamon roll french toast, which at first I thought was going to be french toast with a cinnamon swirl in/on it.  When it came out, it was actually cinnamon rolls made into french toast.  I don't have any reason to go back down to Guaymas or San Carlos, except for the awesome Sonoran food, but I decided I needed to make this cinnamon roll french toast for myself.  I used the Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls, so delicious already, and then cut them into slices and soaked them in basic french toast batter.  Cook for a few minutes on both sides, and you have a delicious, indulgent breakfast treat.  Each slice of cinnamon roll, the way I made them, was 250 calories, so gulp, a lot, but so good :).  Here's what I did:

6 small cinnamon rolls, cut in half, if using larger cinnamon rolls, cut into thirds and use four
2 T butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
3/4 c milk
2 t vanilla
1/3 c flour
dash of salt

Beat the butter in to the beaten egg, then add the rest of the ingredients in order.  Soak the cinnamon roll slices in the batter on both sides, then cook on the prepared griddle until toasted.  Serve with syrup if you want it extra sweet, or just eat it as is, they are delicious!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Potato and Chorizo Masa Boats from Latin American Street Food

These are cute and fun little shells made from masa that you can put anything in.  We all gave them an 8, because they were just a little thicker than we wanted, but so yummy and fun.  Because they are deep fried, I didn't do calorie information on them, but they aren't super high in calories, since they are small.  I used chorizo and potatoes to fill ours, since I had some left over chorizo, but you could fill these in any way you wanted.
2 c masa harina
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 c hot water
vegetable oil for frying

Mix together the salt and masa harina and then add the hot water.  Let rest, covered, for 10 minutes.  Keeping your hands wet, divide the masa into 12 equal balls, then shape each ball into little bowls.  We needed to make these pretty thick in order for them to retain their shape while frying, but maybe you could make them thinner, thus more delicious, if you have mad frying skills :).  Fry them bottoms first, for about 5 minutes, then turn them over and fry for another 2-3 minutes, until golden brown.  Serve.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Flour's Homemade Poptarts

So I don't even want to tell you how much of a pig I made of myself about these.  These are what poptarts should be, but aren't.  Flour came up with this recipe, and although I didn't execute it perfectly, it surely is tatsy :).  Aaron gave these a 9, and the rest of us gave them a perfect 10.  I needed to use thicker jelly, but the glaze and the pastry dough were fabulous.  This is a horrible picture, but these don't taste horrible, I promise :).  You make a flaky, eggy pie dough basically, and put in jam/other fillings, then glaze with a basic powdered sugar, vanilla milk glaze.  Easy, delicious, and so fattening.  Each pop tart was 486 calories, but you can use a less fatty pie dough.  Anyway, try making your own poptarts, and hopefully they will be more beautiful than mine :).  Here is the recipe for the Pate Brisee in Flour's cookbook:

1 3/4 c flour
1 T sugar
1/2 t salt
1 c cold unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
2 egg yolks
3 T cold milk

Using a stand mixer (or a food processor, which I prefer), mix together the sugar, salt, and flour.  Add in the butter until the mixture clumps when you put it between your fingers.  Mix the egg yolks and the milk together, then add it to the flour until the dough just comes together.  Work the dough with your hands for a few minutes until the butter is streaked throughout, then refrigerate for at least four hours.  Divide the dough in two, roll it out, and create your poptarts.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Tortilla Crusted Chicken Tenders

This was a really fast and easy meal.  I liked the addition of tortillas to the breading, and the dipping sauce added great flavor to the chicken tenders.  We found this recipe in The Recipe Girl's cookbook, but you can find the full recipe here, and we all gave this a 9.  Each tender, with the sauce was 171 calories.  We will make this again, because it really is so simple and delicious.

Monday, June 16, 2014

AB Caramel Brownies

My mother asked me to post this recipe as soon as I could, so these are coming faster than I had planned, but it's worth it :)  These brownies were incredibly delicious, and high in calories, and fun to make :).  The boys made these with me, and it was easy and enjoyable.  These received a perfect 10 in our house, and each brownie was 381 calories, so super high since we cut the pan into sixteen brownies.  You can find the caramel brownie recipe at Kristen Ashley's website,   Try these at your own risk, they are incredibly rich, and so worth the calories :)  Just imagine super chocolate squares with a creamy caramel layer in there.

Friday, June 13, 2014

JoAnne Fluke's Green Chili Cheddar Biscuits

I found this recipe in one of JoAnne Fluke's books, and it sounded good and was easy.  Unfortunately, I didn't have any green chilies, but I didn't realize that until I had already started this, so we had an interesting experiment, which the boys and I loved, and Aaron definitely didn't.  He gave them a 4, and the boys and I gave them a perfect 10.  Each biscuit was 355 calories, and I made 11 biscuits.  I posted the original recipe here, but I didn't add the green chilies, I added a little salsa, a little more sour cream, and some chili powder.  We thought they were delicious.

Cheese and Green Chiles Biscuits

Preheat oven to 425
3 ½ c flour packed down 
1 t salt
2 t cream of tartar 
1 t baking powder 
1 t baking soda
½ c butter softened
1 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese 
4 oz jalapenos 
2 large eggs, beaten 
1 c sour cream 
½ c whole milk
½ c cheddar cheese, shredded 
Mix flour, salt, cream of tartar, baking powder, and baking soda.  Cut in the salted butter (or do this in the food processor.)
Stir in the shredded cheese and the jalapenos.  Then add eggs and sour cream.  Lastly add the milk.
Drop biscuits onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Sprinkle the tops with cheddar cheese.  Bake for 12-14 minutes, until golden brown.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Flour's Raspberry Rhubarb Muffins

These are some amazing muffins!  Raspberry and rhubarb make a great combo with this sweet, light muffin.  Noah says these are his favorite muffins ever, and even Owen gave them a 9.  Noah gave them a perfect 10, I gave them a 9, and Aaron gave them an 8.  Each muffin was only 148 calories.  I think Flour must make the biggest muffins in the world, because although the recipe said it was only going to make 12 muffins, I ended up with 30 muffins, and Flour's pumpkin muffins made even more.  Anyway, they are low in calories and delicious, so win win :).

I am putting in the directions for how I did this recipe, it is basically the same as the Flour recipe, but I had to make a few minor changes.

3 1/4 c flour
1/2 t baking soda
3 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 1/3 c sugar
10 T butter, melted
1 c milk, at room temperature
1 c sour cream, at room temperature
2 t vanilla
1 c frozen raspberries
1 c chopped rhubarb

Preheat oven to 350 and line 30 muffin cups with paper liners.  Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Whisk together the eggs and egg yolk in another bowl.  Slowly whisk in the sugar, butter, milk, sour cream and vanilla until well combined.  Pour the butter-sugar mixture into the flour mixture and using a rubber spatula, fold gently just until combined.  Gently fold in the raspberries and rhubarb until evenly distributed.  Lumpy batter is good :).  Bake for about 20 minutes, checking after that to ensure the muffins don't over cook.  Cool and then eat or freeze.

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Recipe Girl's Root Beer Pulled Pork and Coleslaw

There are certain things you will not find very much of on my site, and barbecue is one of those things, and coleslaw is another :).  I actually really dislike both of those things, but decided to try this recipe because Aaron likes pulled pork sandwiches.  When he got home, and heard us all singing the praises of this sandwich, he was mildly disbelieving, since he knows how I feel about barbecue and didn't really think this could be so great.  This is hands down THE BEST pulled pork sandwich we have ever had.  It got a perfect 10, and it needs the coleslaw with it to put it over the top.  I changed things up from the cookbook recipe from the Recipe Girl, so here's what I did:

2 lb pork loin
12 oz root beer
1/2 c barbecue sauce
cayenne pepper
onion powder
garlic salt
French fried onions (about 3/4 cup)
1 c barbecue sauce

Mix everything together except 1 c barbecue sauce in the crock pot and cook for 10 hours or so.  Remove the roast from the sauce, reserve 3/4 c juices, then shred the pork and return to the crockpot with the reserved juices and 1 c barbecue sauce.  Combine, then cook on high for about 15 minutes.  Serve with your favorite coleslaw on a bun.

Here's the coleslaw recipe I used from the Copycat recipe cookbook I have

KFC Coleslaw

8 c (1 head) very finely chopped cabbage ( I used a bagged coleslaw mix with carrots and cabbage)
1/8 t pepper
1/4 c shredded carrot (1 medium carrot)        1/4 c milk
2 T minced onions                                           1/2 c mayonnaise
1/3 c granulated sugar                                     1/4 c buttermilk
1/2 t salt                                                          1 1/2 T white vinegar
                                                                        2 1/2 T lemon juice (I used lime juice)

1.  Be sure that the cabbage, carrots, and onion are chopped up into very fine pieces (about the size of rice kernels).

2. Combine the sugar, salt, pepper, milk, mayonnaise, buttermilk vinegar, and lemon juice, and beat until smooth.

3. Add the cabbage, carrots, and onions.  Mix well.

4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Serves 8

It's very important to make at least 2 hours in advance, the flavors need to mix for optimum results.

Each sandwich including bun was only 350 calories, so this was great and not super bad for us :).

Friday, June 6, 2014

Picky Palate's Strawberry Buttermilk Pancakes with Nutella Syrup

I found this recipe for Strawberry Buttermilk Pancakes with Nutella Syrup at Picky Palate's website, and since I bought my strawberries for $.87 per pound, I had a lot and wanted to try some new things.  This was incredibly delicious, none of us could get enough, and although they aren't chocolate chip pancakes, Aaron still gave them an 8.  The boys and I gave them a perfect 10, and with the chocolatey buttermilk syrup, these are worth every bit of their 256 calories.  That includes the pancake and syrup.  Anyway, these are sooooo amazing, I'll be making them again when I have more Nutella :).

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Simply Recipes' Strawberry Oatmeal Muffins

I found this recipe here for Strawberry Oatmeal Muffins, and these were a great way to use up strawberries, and while not an over the top win at the house, these are a tasty muffin, and we gave them an 8.

The recipe made 21 muffins for me, and each muffin was only 122 calories, so that's nice to have a low calorie muffin.  The only change I made was to put in a little less pepper than it called for, but everything else I did just like the recipe said.  Follow the link above for the recipe and enjoy!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Flour's Double Chocolate Cookies

These are a perfect 10 from our family, they are heavenly.  Please don't try these double chocolate cookies from Flour unless you really like chocolate, because they are chocolate overload :).  Aaron actually asked for these again for his birthday rather than the usual Nestle Tollhouse cookies, so that tells you how delicious these are.  The recipe makes 16 cookies for me, and each cookie is about 287 calories.  Here's the easy recipe:

4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely shaved
5 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small chunks
1/2 c unsalted butter
1/2 t vanilla
1 1/2 c sugar
4 eggs
1/2 c flour
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t cream of tartar
1/8 t salt
1/4 t instant espresso or coffee powder

Melt the 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, 5 oz bittersweet chocolate, and the butter in a microwave, stirring frequently to prevent burning.  Whisk in the vanilla and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, beat together the sugar and eggs for about 5 minutes, or until light, thick, and pale yellow.  On low speed, slowly add the chocolate mixture and mix for about 15 seconds.  In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, espresso powder, the shaved unsweetened chocolate and the small chopped bittersweet chocolate.  Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the sugar-butter mixture just until the flour is totally incorporated and the dough is evenly mixed.  Cover the mixture tightly and refrigerate over night.  When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees, and drop the dough in 1/4 c balls onto a cookie sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes, then cool on the cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes, then cool completely.

Serve with milk and die from chocolate happiness :)