Friday, July 31, 2015

Chocolate Turnovers

Here I am going to give the filling for the turnovers, but I used the same dough featured on Wednesday.  These will probably cook for just a little less time, and I made 12 turnovers out of this.  I found the recipe for the chocolate filling in my The Golden Book of Chocolate cookbook, and we really liked it, everyone giving them a perfect 10.  Each turnover is 273 calories, and here is the filling:

1 c ricotta cheese
1/3 c sugar
2 egg yolks
1 T vanilla
2 T flour
1 T cocoa powder
2 T craisins (we used blueberry, because that's what I had, but I think cherry would've been better)
4 oz semi sweet chocolate chips

Mix together the ricotta, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, flour and cocoa powder in a food processor.  Fold in the craisins and the chocolate chips.  Fill the turnovers, fold them, then egg wash and sprinkle with sugar, vent the pastries, then bake in a 350 degree oven, checking at around 30 minutes.  Cool and then serve.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Flour's Apple Turnovers

I am super excited about these turnovers, they were such a success.  I have made these cheese danishes before with laminated dough, and I really liked how they turned out, but as you can see from the picture, the turnovers had that flaky dough that I was so happy to achieve.  I am only going to feature the dough today from Flour, Too, and Friday will have a filling for them from my chocolate cookbook.  The apple turnovers pictured here were just filled with a tart apple sauce filling.  Each apple turnover was 379 calories, and we gave these a perfect 10, although the chocolate ones were a bigger hit.  This dough is kind of a lot of work, but it is definitely worth it.  This recipe will make 20-22 turnovers, and I did 10 apple and 12 chocolate.  Here's what to do:

1 3/4 c flour, plus lots for dusting and folding, probably another cup
1/2 t salt
6 T unsalted butter, plus 1 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 c ice water

1 egg, beaten
3 T sugar

In a stand mixer, combine the flour, salt and 6 T of butter and beat on low speed for 6-8 minutes, or until the butter is completely mixed into the flour.  Add the water and mix on low for about 20-30 seconds more.  Shape the dough into a 5 inch square, transfer the dough to a cookie sheet, and cover it with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate the dough for 20-30 minutes.
Remove the dough from the fridge and place it on a generously floured surface.  Press the dough into a rectangle about 8 inches wide and 5 inches tall.  Roll the remaining 2 sticks of butter out to cover 1/2 of the dough, so 4 inches wide by 5 inches tall.  Fold the bare half of the dough over the butter half of the dough and press to seal the butter between the dough.  Turn the dough 90 degrees clockwise so the dough is 5 inches wide and 4 inches from top to bottom.  Flour the dough on all sides.
Begin rolling the dough from side to side and top to bottom, ending with the rectangle about 15 inches wide and 10 inches tall.  Fold into thirds like a letter, right side coming in, then left side.  Rotate the dough clockwise 90 degrees, then repeat the rolling and folding process.  After the second rolling and folding, return the dough to the refrigerator and rest the dough in the fridge for an hour.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and place it on a well floured surface.  Have the long side facing you, and the folded seam on top.  Roll out the dough into a rectangle 27 inches wide and 8 inches tall.  Fold right side into thirds, then left side, then turn clockwise and repeat the rolling to 27 inches and folding.  Return the dough to the refrigerator and chill for 1 hour more.
After the hour, roll it out to 27 x 8 inches again, fold into thirds again, rotate, then reroll it out to 27x8 inches again, refold, then cover and refrigerate for one more hour.  After this last fold, the dough can be refrigerated for up to five days.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet or two with parchment paper.  Roll out the dough into a rectangle 28 x 12 inches.  Cut the dough into 10 equal squares, then fill 1/2 half of the square diagonally with desired filling.   Brush the egg on the bare side of the square along the edges, then pinch the edges together and press them with a fork.  Brush the tops of the pastry with more egg, cut small slits in the tops to allow steam to escape, then sprinkle the tops with sugar.  Bake for about one hour, then let cool.  Serve.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Chorizo Breakfast Pizzas

So we found a recipe for breakfast pizzas in our Flour, Too cookbook, but we didn't want to make them the way the recipe said :).  Instead, we made them using Flour's brioche recipe, which can be found here, or more easily here.  Anyway, I used half of this batch and made 8 pizzas out of this.  Each pizza was 530 calories, approximately, and Aaron gave this a perfect 10, Noah and I gave this a 9, and Owen gave it an 8 because he doesn't like chorizo :).  Here's what we did:

1/2 batch of Vicki's breakfast burrito meat, minus the egg (chorizo and potatoes)
2 onions, sliced very thinly
2 T butter
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg
1/2 batch of brioche
1/4 c sour cream, divided (we used a little less)
2 oz grated Monterey Jack cheese

Toppings of choice, we used avocados and tomatoes

Follow the directions for the brioche, and after proofing it overnight, begin making the pizzas.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Melt the butter in a pan, and caramelize the onions for about 30 minutes, seasoning well.
Cook the chorizo and potatoes with the caramelized onions and the egg.
Cut the brioche into 8 segments, then shape them into circles with a rim, like little mini pizzas.  Cook for 10 minutes on parchment covered cookie sheets.  Remove the brioche from the oven, then place around 1 T of sour cream in the bottom (or less) of the brioche, then top with the chorizo mixture.  Top with grated cheese, and cook for about 20 minutes, keeping an eye on them so they don't over bake.  Serve hot.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Owen's Apple Turkey Burgers

Here's the burger we had with our apples, and if you talk to Owen and Aaron, you should have those caramelized apples on top, although Noah and I just had our apples on the side.  These were easy to make, and surprisingly tasty.  I was a little uncertain about how well these would work, but Noah gave them a perfect 10, Owen and I gave them a 9, and Aaron gave them an 8.  Make sure to use the bread crumbs, because the apples and the turkey are quite wet without some help.  Owen loves apples, so he was super happy to create these with me :).  Each burger, and we made six, were 425 calories, and that included our buns.  Here's what to do:

6 slices thick cut bacon
2 oz cheese (we used colby Jack, but I would've rather had a different flavor), sliced
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated
2 T bread crumbs
1/2 t thyme
1 t garlic salt
1 t onion powder

burger buns
whole grain mustard
caramelized apples

Cook the bacon in a large pan, and then set aside, reserving the bacon fat.
Mix the turkey, apple, bread crumbs, thyme, garlic salt, onion powder, and salt to taste.  Form into six patties, and cook in the reserved bacon grease on both sides until cooked through.  Top with the cheese and bacon, let the cheese melt, then serve with the toppings, and the apples.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Caramelized Apples

So this is just a basic recipe for caramelized apples, the same as one would make for pie filling, or a side of apples, or even applesauce, but this is what I did, and each serving was 95 calories.  We gave this an 8 as a side dish, but again, it makes a great applesauce if allowed to cook down even more.  We had this with the burger featured on Friday, and it went really well with it.  Here's what I did:

1 1/2 peeled, cored and chopped Granny Smith apples
Juice from 1/2 lemon
3 T brown sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
2 T unsalted butter
dash of salt

Melt the butter over medium heat, then add the apples, lemon, cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt.  Let cook down, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, maybe a little longer depending on the size of your apples, and let the sugar caramelize.  Serve.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Cheesy Baked Fish

So we have a go to fish recipe which I shared years ago, and I decided to change things up a little.  We had some cod to use, and I didn't have any Parmesan, so here's my take on fish, just a little differently.  I would still recommend a firmer fish like tilapia, as I like the texture more, but Aaron and I still gave this a 9, and the boys gave it an 8, although Jonah gobbled his up, so he may have given it more than an 8 ;).  Anyway, the calories for this recipe for five servings was 145, and here's the easy peasy recipe.

12 oz cod (more or less)
salt and pepper
cooking spray
around 1 t ancho chili powder

3 T butter at room temperature
1/2-1 t garlic salt
1/4 c Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 t cumin
2 T cilantro

Preheat the oven to 400.  Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray, then season the cod with salt, pepper and ancho chili powder.  Bake the fish for 10 minutes.

While the fish is baking, mix together the butter, salt, cheese and cumin.

Remove the fish from the oven, turn on the broiler, and spread the butter mixture over each piece of fish.  Broil for about 2 minutes, then top with cilantro and serve.

Aaron says this tasted like chili, and I agree, it really did, and was great.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Culinary Concoction's By Peabody's Dr. Pepper Vanilla Float Cupcakes

Here is where you can find this fun recipe, one I have been wanting to try for a while.  I hadn't been able to find Dr. Pepper Vanilla Float soda, and so I have held off making these, but when I found my store had the pop again, I made these.  They are cute, fun, easy and flavorful, but unfortunately, they didn't taste enough like a vanilla float to us :(.  Anyway, I followed Peabody's recipe exactly, so follow the link to the recipe, and for 24 cupcakes, each cupcake was 307 calories.  We all gave these an 8.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Crockpot Vegetable Lasagna

Here is my take on vegetable lasagna, made in the crockpot.  It is similar to my regular lasagna, but is meat free and is pretty good for us :).  Each serving, about 1/12 of the total, was 477 calories.  My Dad, Noah and I all gave this a 9, and my mom gave it an 8, because she liked my sausage lasagna better :).  Anyway, here's what I did:

15 oz ricotta cheese
6 oz Parmesan cheese, grated
2 T prepared pesto
salt and pepper

1 T olive oil
2 medium zucchini, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 15 oz cans petite diced tomatoes
1 t basil
1/2 t oregano
salt and pepper

1/2 c water
9 oven ready lasagna noodles
24 oz Italian cheeses, grated
1 bag baby spinach

Mix together the ricotta, Parmesan, pesto, and salt and pepper.  Set aside.
In a large pan, heat the olive oil, then add in the onions and carrots.  Cook for a little while, then add in the garlic and zucchini.  Stir and let the vegetables soften a little bit.  Add in the spices and the diced tomatoes, then season to taste, and let cook for a while, allowing the flavors to meld.
When the sauce is ready, pour some of it in the bottom of the slow cooker, then layer some lasagna noodles.  Top the noodles with half of the ricotta, 1/3 of the cheese, 1/2 of the spinach, and 1/2 of the red sauce.  Pour the water in, then repeat the layers.  Top with the remaining 1/3 of the cheese, and cook on low for about 8 hours, maybe a little less.  Let cool slightly, then serve.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Peach and Cookies Ice Cream

Noah loves fresh fruit, and he wanted to make some peach ice cream.  We thought it would be fun to make our own cookies and cream ice cream, but I didn't like the idea of peaches and Oreos, so we made our peach ice cream with golden Oreos, and this turned out so well.  Owen didn't like it, but the rest of us really did, Aaron especially.  He gave it a perfect 10, Noah and I gave it a 9, and Owen gave it a 6.  I followed the Cook's Illustrated recipe for peach ice cream featured in their America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, since I don't trust my ability to make up my own perfect ice cream recipe.  Anyway, each serving was 290 calories, for 12 servings.  Here's what we did:

1 1/3 c cream
1 1/4 c whole milk
1 c sugar, divided
3 medium peaches, peeled and chopped
6 egg yolks
1 t lemon juice (or a little more)
3 T peach Schnapps
1 t vanilla
around 15 golden Oreos, mashed into small pieces

Bring the cream and milk and 1/4 c sugar to a simmer.  While this is warming, mix together the egg yolks and 1/4 c sugar until thick and pale in color.  Temper the egg yolks, and cook the custard until slightly thickened.  Strain the custard into a bowl, let cool and then chill.
Cook the peaches with the remaining 1/2 c sugar, mashing them while cooking, until the peaches have released their juices.  Cool and chill.
When the custard has chilled for at least 3 hours, strain the peach juice from the peaches into the custard, and add in the vanilla and lemon juice.  Toss the peaches with the peach schnapps to prevent the fruit from crystallizing too much, then mix them all in the ice cream maker.  Towards the very end of churning, add in the Oreos.  Freeze.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Owen's Hot Vanilla

My Owen doesn't like strong flavors, and he doesn't really like chocolate all that much, so he wanted to make hot vanilla.  Luckily, although it is summer, the monsoons have started here, so the weather is nice, and on a day like this one when we have rain, it actually gets cool, so this hot vanilla was a real treat.  This was an easy recipe, and a nice change from hot chocolate.  We made it a little sweet for Aaron and me, but the boys thought it  was great.  Aaron says it has a white chocolatey flavor, and I agree, but mostly it is just vanilla, which is just what Owen wanted.  Owen gave it a perfect 10, Aaron and I gave this a 9, and Noah gave it an 8.  Here's the super simple recipe and it made four servings, with each serving being 205 calories.

3 c milk (we used 1%)
5 T sugar (use more or less depending on your desired sweetness)
1/4 c marshmallow fluff
1 T vanilla

1/2 c whipped cream
1 T sugar
1 t vanilla

Heat the milk, sugar and vanilla together in a saucepan, then when warm, add in the marshmallow fluff and stir until the fluff has dissolved in the milk.   Pour into cups and top with the whipped cream.

Whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form.  Top the vanilla milk.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Chicken Salad

I wanted a nice light salad while the weather is hot and my kitchen is super-duperty hot, and so I came up with this salad.  We all really liked it. and you could double the dressing to have a saucier salad if you desired, I just don't like a lot of dressing.  The guys all topped theirs with lime chicken, but I just ate mine with cheese and bacon and beans for protein :).  We all really liked this, we gave it a 9.  Here's what to do, and the calories depend on the dressing and what you put in:

1 bag (about 1 head) romaine lettuce, chopped
2 tomatoes
2 14.5 oz cans beans, I used black and kidney
2 oz Monterey Jack cheese, diced
4 slices thick cut bacon, cooked and chopped
1 avocado
1 can corn, rinsed, or even better 1 ear fresh corn, corn chopped off
2 T cilantro, chopped
2 green onions, chopped

1/2 lime, juiced
2 T white wine vinegar
1/2 t honey
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 dash cumin
1/4 c olive oil

Whisk together the lime juice, vinegar, honey, jalapeno, cumin and salt.  Whisk in the olive oil until emulsified.
Mix together all the salad fixings and toss with the dressing.  Serve.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Flour's Cherry Oat Muffins

I found this recipe in my Flour 2 cookbook, and we really liked these.  They are super oatey, which I love, and the cherries add a nice juiciness.  I ate tons of these, and since each one was 194 calories (I made 27 muffins), my calories didn't go so well while these were around.  They are worth it though.  I made them with all purpose flour, but the recipe called for whole wheat flour, which would make these even healthier.  We all gave the muffins a 9, and here's what to do:

3 1/2 c rolled oats
1 1/4 c sour cream
1 c whole milk
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
2/3 c sugar
3/4 c packed brown sugar
1 1/2 c frozen sweet cherries, pitted and chopped if desired (I didn't chop mine, they came out great anyway)
1 1/4 c flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt

1/4 c rolled oats
3 T packed brown sugar
dash of cinnamon

Stir together the oats, sour cream, milk, eggs, and butter until combined.  Add in the sugars, and cherries and continue to stir until combined.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and stir until well mixed.  Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and place, covered, in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350, line 24 (more or less) muffin cups, and fill the cups about 2/3 full.  
Mix together the oats, brown sugar and cinnamon for the topping.
Sprinkle the topping over each muffin, and cook for about 30 minutes, checking a little before but plan on longer.  Let cool for a few minutes, then serve.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Noah's Honey Quesadillas

first attempt
second attempt
final product :)
Well, we tried to make this three different times, and the third time was successful :).  Noah wanted honey quesadillas, and so we played around with the recipe until everyone thought it was delicious.  We tried to first make our own corn tortillas, but they were a little thick, so we used flour instead.  Our caramel sauce was too hard at first, and by the third try we got sauce rather than caramel candy :).  Notice how the caramel gets lighter every time.  And our filling became progressively sweeter with each attempt, but by the third try it was honey-ey and delicious.  Aaron and I gave them a 9, Noah gave them a perfect 10, and Owen gave them an 8.  Here's what Noah and I came up with:

4 T cream cheese, softened
4 T honey (more or less depending on desired sweetness)
4 tortillas

3/4 c sugar
1/4 c water
2 T butter
1/2 c cream
2 T honey

Beat together the cream cheese and honey, tasting as you go.  Spread the cream cheese mixture on the tortillas, and toast them on both sides.

Caramelize the sugar and water together, then when the sugar is a light amber, add in the butter and cream and honey, stirring until the sauce comes together.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill Steak Sauce

This was a really delicious, different steak sauce.  The boys didn't love it, but Aaron and I did.  Aaron gave it a perfect 10, I gave it a 9, and Owen and Noah gave it a 7.  I found this recipe in Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill cookbook, and each 1 T serving was about 37 calories.  Here's what I did, which is just a little different from the original recipe:

1 c ketchup
1/2 c horseradish sauce
3 T honey
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T grainy garlic mustard
2 T maple syrup
2 t Worcestershire sauce
2 T ancho chile powder
salt and pepper to taste

Mix it all together, and refrigerate at least one hour before serving.