Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tomato Pie

This is the second time I've made this recipe and it is just as wonderful as I remembered. I had a lot of tomatoes, so this was a great way to use some of them up. The original recipe calls for a pre-made pie crust, but I think they have a funny aftertaste. I used a family recipe for the pie crust and it was just perfect. This recipe is amazing, easy and very rich. Enjoy!

Tomato Pie
  • 4 tomatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella
  • 1 cup grated cheddar
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 recipe Aunt Claudia's Pie crust (see post below)

Prepare and bake pie crust. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place tomatoes in colander. Sprinkle with salt and allow to drain for 10 minutes. Use paper towels to pat off excess moisture. Layer the tomato slices, basil, and onion in pie shell. Season with salt and pepper. Combine the cheeses and mayo. Spread mixture on top of the tomatoes and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. To serve, cut into slices and serve warm.

Reference- Paula Deen.

Greta's Rating: She liked the crust and tomatoes, but must not be a fan of basil :)

Aunt Claudia's Pie Crust

This is the perfect pie crust for a quiche or savory dish. I received the recipe at one of my bridal showers about 6 years ago. It is from my husband's Great Aunt Claudia.

Aunt Claudia's Pie Crust
1 c. flour
1/3 c. Crisco (I used unsalted butter)
1 t. salt

Combine ingredients in bowl and mix with pastry blender until small pieces form. Add 7 tsp. water and mix with a fork (I used 8 t.) Dough will form a ball. Roll dough and place in pie pan. Bake at 450 for 8 minutes.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Spinach and Artichoke Dip Chicken

Who doesn't love spinach and artichoke dip? When I found this recipe at Joelen's Culinary Adventures, I couldn't wait to make it. I have made a lot of substitutions from the original recipe because we were out of Parmesan AND cream cheese. This would be even better as Joelen originally made it, but was still amazing! If you've never ventured over to her blog- I'd highly suggest it. She does a TON of entertaining and always has a plethora of fabulous recipes!

Spinach and Artichoke Dip Chicken
4-6 chicken breasts, seasoned with salt and pepper
1/3 c. light vegenaise (or light mayo)
1/3 c. light sour cream
3/4 c. shredded mozzarella
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can artichokes, chopped
3/4 c. defrosted frozen spinach (1 c. frozen= about 3/4 defrosted)
salt and pepper to taste
dash of cayenne pepper
1/2 c. panko

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place seasoned chicken breasts in baking dish. combine all other ingredients except panko. Top each chicken breast with the artichoke mixture. Sprinkle with panko and bake for 25-35 minutes or until juices run clear.

Greta's Rating: She loved it!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Toasted Coconut Shortbread

This recipe is absolutely scrumptious! I made these for family that we had visiting this weekend. The aroma of buttery coconut lingered in our house for hours and these little shortbread cookies tasted even better than they smelled. I found this recipe on Culinary Concoctions by Peabody.

Toasted Coconut Shortbread

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 ¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread coconut on baking sheet. Bake until coconut is light golden, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Cool completely.
Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugars in large bowl until well blended. Mix in salt and vanilla. Beat in flour in 2 additions. Stir in toasted coconut. Gather dough together; divide in half. Flatten each half into disk; wrap each in plastic and chill at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out 1 dough disk on lightly floured work surface to scant 1/4-inch thickness. Using 1 3/4- to 2-inch-diameter cookie cutters, cut dough into rounds. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Repeat procedure with remaining dough disk until all of dough is used.
Bake cookies until light golden, about 20 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks and cool completely.

Friday, September 26, 2008

French Onion Soup

Fast. Easy. Fabulous. Low calorie. I don't think I need to say anything else!

French Onion Soup
2 T. butter
2 c. thinly sliced yellow onions
4 c. beef broth
2 T. sherry
1 t. Worcestershire
salt and pepper to taste
6 slices crusty bread
1 c. shredded Swiss, Gruyere or Jarlsberg cheese

Melt butter in large saucepan. Add onions. Cook, covered over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally for 8-10 minutes, or until golden. Stir in broth, sherry and Worcestershire. Bring to boiling. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Preheat broiler. If you have oven safe bowls, ladle 1 c. of soup into bowls top with bread and cheese and broil until bubbly. If you do not have oven safe bowl. Just broil the bread and cheese on a baking sheet and place in bowl of soup when ready.

Reference: Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook

Chocolate Marshmallow Bars

In honor of The Office season premiere- I just had to find something sinfully delicious to make. This recipe fit the bill! These are very good and I will definitely make these again. I found the recipe on Good Eats n' Sweet Treats.

Deluxe Chocolate Marshmallow Bars
from Esther Shank, Taste of Home's Holiday Get-Together 2006
3/4 cup butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/3 cups all purpose flour
3 tbsp baking cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups miniature marshmallows

1-1/3 cup chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter
3 tbsp butter
2 cups crisp rice cereal

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until fluffy. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture. Spread in a greased 9x 13 pan.
Bake at 350F for 18-25 minutes or until middle is set. Sprinkle marshmallows evenly over cake; return to oven for 2-3 minutes. Using a knife dipped in water, spread the melted marshmallows evenly over cake. Cool.
For topping, combine chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and well blended. Remove from heat; stir in cereal. Immediately spread over bars. Chill.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Snobby Joes

I don't like sloppy joes. I don't like ground beef. It dawned on me that maybe I don't like sloppy joes because I don't like ground beef. I was right. I loved these! I found this recipe at Gillian's Goodies. If you like lentils, you should definitely give these a try!

Snobby Joes

1 cup uncooked lentils
4 cups water
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 small red onion, cut into small dice
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into small dice
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. sea salt
1 (14 1/2 oz.) diced (no salt added) tomatoes
1/4 c. tomato paste
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tbsp. prepared Dijon mustard
4-6 rolls, sliced in half

1. Pour the lentils and water into a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Drain and set aside.
2. When the lentils have about 10 minutes left, preheat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Saute the onion and pepper in the oil for 7 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and saute another minute.
3. Stir in the cooked lentils, chili powder, oregano, and salt. Add the tomatoes (I diced mine up a little more prior to adding them). Cook 10 minutes. Add the maple syrup and mustard; heat through.
4. Turn off the heat and let the pot sit for about 10 minutes. Serve open-faced with a scoop of the lentil mixture on each slice of a roll.

Greta's rating: She wasn't wild about these. I think I'll add cheese to hers next time!

Almond butter Chocolate chip Cookies

A couple weeks ago, I found a recipe for peanut butter chocolate chip cookies that had cream of wheat in the dough. This really intrigued me. I've tried many, many "healthier" chocolate chip cookie recipes and this one is great! I used almond butter in place of the peanut butter and 2 egg whites in place of the egg replacer. These are delicious, just be careful not to burn them as the tops do not turn golden as they bake.

Almond Butter/ Chocolate Chip Cookies
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup smooth almond butter
1/3 cup (5 tbsp. plus 1tsp.) light margarine, softened
1/4 cup egg substitute (I used 2 egg whites)
1/2 cup cream of wheat cereal, uncooked
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat brown sugar, almond butter, margarine, & egg whites until fluffy. Mix in cereal & vanilla. Add dry ingredients. Combine. Fold in chocolate chips. Chill in
refrigerator for about 5 minutes.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Peach Dump Cake

I must admit that I absolutely *love* it when people post comments on my blog. It makes me feel great that people are actually interested in what I'm making! But, the main purpose of this blog is very selfish. I started this as a way for me to get rid of all my paper recipes- a way to keep track of which recipes we love. We rarely eat out, so I do A LOT of cooking and baking. But I only will post recipes that we really enjoyed and would make again and again. So, there is my big disclaimer...This recipe is really nothing fancy at all (any bachelor could make it), but it is sooooo good and very easy. Great for a cool fall night.

Peach Dump Cake
large can sliced peaches in syrup
white cake mix
1/2 c. butter or margarine, melted
1/2 c. chopped pecans
vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 350. Pour can of peaches, syrup and all in 9x13 pan. Evenly sprinkle cake mix over peaches. Drizzle melted butter over cake mix. Sprinkle pecans on top. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Cool slightly and serve with ice cream.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Easy Thai Chicken Pizza

This is a quick and easy meal that I make often for dinner. I use our favorite store bought peanut sauce, but you could use any or make your own.

Easy Thai Chicken Pizza

4 Whole wheat tortillas
Olive Oil
salt and pepper
1 garlic clove
2 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded or cubed
5 T. peanut sauce (I use House of Tsang)
1 carrot, shredded
1/4 c. red onion
2/3 c. shredded mozzarella
2/3 c. shredded Parmesan
1 cucumber, cut into matchsticks

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly rub 4 tortillas with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cut garlic clove in half lengthwise and rub cut ends on each tortilla. Toss chicken in peanut sauce and divide evenly on tortillas. Top each tortilla with carrot, onion and cheeses. Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown. Serve with fresh cucumber on top. Makes 4 individual pizzas.

Greta's rating: She loves this meal, but always drinks A LOT of milk with it as it is a little spicy!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Cream filled Chocolate Cupcakes

When I saw these adorable cupcakes on Annie's Eats, I could not wait to make them! Who can resist a chocolate cupcake filled with cream and topped with chocolate??? Not this gal. I recently discovered a great vegan chocolate cupcake recipe in the cookbook Crazy about Cupcakes, by Krystina Castella. I figured with all the chocolate and cream filling, if I made the actual cupcake a little healthier no one would notice. Boy, was I right! This is a great combination.

Cream filled Chocolate Cupcakes
-Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
-Cream Filling
-Chocolate Frosting

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
6 T. applesauce
2 1/4 c. water
1 t. vanilla
2 T. white vinegar
2 1/2 c. flour
2/3 c. cocoa powder
2 c. cane sugar
1/2 t. salt
2 t. baking soda

Preheat oven to 375. Insert liners into medium cupcake pan. In large bowl mix wet ingredients. In separate bowl combine dry ingredients. Gradually add dry ingredients, beat well. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely.

Cream filling
6T. unsalted butter, softened (I used Earth Balance, worked great!)
1 1/2 c. confectioner's sugar
3/4 c. Marshmallow fluff
1 1/2 T heavy cream

Combine all ingredients and beat until fluffy. Reserve 1/2 c. filling. Transfer rest of filling to pastry bag fitted with Bismark tip. Gently insert decorating dip 1/2" into the top of each cupcake and lightly squeeze in some of the filling.

Chocolate Frosting
1/4 c. heavy cream
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 T. unsalted butter, softened

In small saucepan over medium heat, heat cream until steaming. Remove from heat. Add chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add butter and stir until smooth. Dip cupcake tops in frosting. Spoon reserved filling into pastry bag fitted with very small plain tip and pipe curlicues across center of each cupcake. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to set frosting.

Eggplant Basil Sandwiches

If you are a fan of eggplant Parmesan, you must try this dish! The recipe is from the cookbook From Asparagus to Zucchini. I found this recipe in our CSA's weekly newsletter and immediately knew I had to try it. We loved this!

Eggplant Basil Sandwiches
1 firm, medium eggplant, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4" slices (about 20-24 slices)
kosher salt
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. minced fresh basil
3/4 c. soft bread crumbs (I just used store bought)
3/4 t. salt
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
2 large eggs
vegetable oil

Optional: Lightly salt eggplant slices with kosher salt, place in colander and weigh down slices with a heavy pot. Let stand in sink at least 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
Mix cream cheese and basil in small bowl until smooth. Combine bread crumbs, slat, and cayenne on shallow dish. Crack eggs into separate shallow dish and froth with a fork. Spread eggplant slices with herbed cheese using about 2 t. on smaller slices and slightly more on larger ones. Make sandwiches with slices. Dip in egg, then coat in crumbs. Heat oil 1/8" deep in large skillet over medium heat. When very hot, fry sandwiches until crisp and golden about 3 minutes per side. Serve warm. Sandwiches can be kept warm in 225 degree oven while remaining sandwiches are being cooked. Serve with thick tomato sauce. Makes 8-10 small sandwiches.

Greta's rating: Eeeew! She would barely try this!