Friday, June 28, 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites

Tried these...looking for possible recipes for my students to try that are gluten free. With no eggs or butter, this one would also be okay for a strict vegan diet. (You could use carob chips.) They taste...okay. Hoping to find well-rounded recipe options, not just desserts, but something like this may get more students to try it out. :) They're very dense, almost doughy. I could try simply baking them a little longer, or fiddling with the recipe. I don't do much gluten-free (or vegan) baking...

1 ¼ C canned chickpeas, well-rinsed and patted dry
2 tps vanilla
½ C + 2 Tbls peanut butter
¼ C honey
1 tsp baking powder
½ C chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine all the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, in a food processor and process until very smooth. Scrape sides to thoroughly process all ingredients. Stir in (or pulse in) chocolate chips. Form into 1
½ balls. Place on cookie tray lined with parchment paper. Press balls into 2" cookie rounds. Bake for about 10 minutes.

Peach Pie

I rarely make peach pie  -- I prefer berry and apple varieties of fruit pies -- so this is a "borrowed" (online) recipe. I brushed the top with peach juice out of the bottom of the bowl and sprinkled it lightly with cinnamon-sugar before baking. I also used half yellow and half white peaches, just for visual variety. This pie is for a fundraiser, or I'd cut a piece and photograph it that way. Maybe next time...

Sunday, June 16, 2013

"Zit Bars"

I don't know how it's gone this long and this recipe hasn't made its way onto my blog. I used to make these a LOT when I was working with the high school group at the church where I grew up. Never had any leftovers! I don't know what the real/original name is...I've only ever really known them referred to as "zit bars" which sounds pretty disgusting...but they're gooey, fudgey deliciousness with enough oatmeal crust to hold it all together.

(It's not the best photo, they're still in the pan! But I don't want to cut into them yet...I'm taking them to school tomorrow: Happy end of the school year!!)

Ingredients, oatmeal cookie base:
1 C butter
2 C brown sugar
2 eggs 
½ tsp vanilla
3 C oats
2½ C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Ingredients, fudge layer:
12 oz chocolate chips
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbls butter 
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350˚.

To make cookie base...
Cream together butter and brown sugar; beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth. Stir in oats. Add flour, soda and salt all at once, stirring until well combined. Spread about  two-thirds of this mixture over the bottom of a 9x13 pan (or, for thinner cookies, spread evenly over a jelly roll baking sheet).

To make fudge layer...
Combine the chips, sweetened condensed milk, butter and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir continually until chocolate is melted and all ingredients are smoothly combined. Stir in vanilla.

Pour fudge sauce -- and spread as needed -- over oatmeal cookie base. Dot with bits of remaining oatmeal mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes. (20-25 minutes for the thinner bars.)

Serve with lots of cold milk! :)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Lentil Sloppy Joes

Here's another recipe borrowed from The Food Network, part of their "Hidden Agenda" series (i.e. trying to sneak more vegetables into your diet, or your kids'...). I like adding more veggies, and more seeds, nuts, lentils, etc. instead of all animal proteins. But...I'm not aiming for a vegetarian diet. I added a full pound of ground beef (because I thawed a 1 pound package), instead of the half pound the recipe calls for, and still it was about a 50/50 ratio of lentils to beef.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Broccoli-Onion-Bacon Breakfast Casserole

4 strips bacon
1 sweet onion, halved & thinly sliced
2 C broccoli florets
5 eggs
1½ C milk 
½ tsp dried basil, crushed
4 C sourdough bread, 1" cubes
4 oz Muenster or Swiss cheese, ½" cubes
salt and pepper to taste

In large skillet, cook bacon until crisp; remove bacon, reserving drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon and set aside. Add onions to skillet; cover and cook on medium-low heat 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, in small saucepan, cook broccoli in lightly salted water about 3 minutes, until fork tender. Drain.

Uncover onions, increase heat to medium and cook until caramelized (about 5 minutes).

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs,milk, basil, salt and pepper. Stir in bread, broccoli, onion, cheese and bacon. Transfer to 2 quart baking dish; cover and chill 2-24 hours.

Preheat oven to 325°. Bake casserole, covered, 20 minutes. Uncover; bake an additional 20-30 minutes until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

I only had a small, sweet onion when I made this recipe, so (in case you notice in the picture) I added some scallions. Not exactly the same flavor as a sweet onion, but I knew I'd like it anyway.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Cauliflower Stuffed Baked Potatoes

My ongoing effort to increase my vegetable repertoire...

The puréed cauliflower in this recipe (from the Food Network) makes a wonderfully creamy twice-baked-potato without the extra fat of cream, butter or sour cream. And it tastes great! They do still get topped off with cheese and bacon...


Lemon Lime Bars

2 C + 3 Tbls flour 
½ C powdered sugar, additional for garnish
2 Tbls cornstarch 
¼ tsp salt
1 C cold butter, diced
4 eggs
1 C sugar 
1/3 C half-and-half
1/3 C lemon juice
1/3 C lime juice
1 tsp lemon zest, additional for garnish
1 tsp lime zest, additional for garnish
1 drop green food coloring

Preheat oven to 350°. Line 9x13" pan with parchment - bottom and up sides.

For the crust...  Sift together 2 cups flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch and salt. Cut in cold butter chunks until the mixture is mealy. It will be a VERY DRY crust. Press firmly to bottom of pan. Bake 15 minutes.

For the lemon & lime filling...  Whisk together eggs, sugar, half-and-half, and 3 Tbls flour. Divide equally into two bowls. Add lemon juice and lemon zest to one. Add lime juice, lime zest, and a drop of green food coloring to the other. (Personally, I think the food coloring looks too artificial. It is kind of nice to see a visual difference between the lemon and lime layers, however; small drop?)

As soon as crust is baked, pour lime filling over hot crust; return to oven for 12 minutes. Next, pour lemon filling over lime filling; bake for another 10-12 minutes until set. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Use parchment to remove cooled, uncut bars from pan. Cut into bars. Dust with additional powdered sugar, lemon and/or lime zest to serve. Store in refrigerator.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Rainbow Coleslaw

I'm not a big coleslaw fan, mostly because of the mayonnaise-y, creamy dressing. This recipe has no mayonnaise (or sour cream, buttermilk, etc.) but is dressed with a simple vinaigrette/pickling-brine. Maybe for some, that is NOT a coleslaw. It is, however, more to my personal liking. 

½ head green cabbage, finely sliced 
½ head red cabbage, finely sliced
4 carrots, shredded or finely julienned
2 bell peppers*, julienned
1 C chopped parsley 
½ C white wine vinegar 
½ C olive oil
1 tsp salt 
½ tsp pepper
2 Tbls sugar

* You can use any color bell peppers you want, but a yellow and red add more color variety since there's already green cabbage and parsley, and orange carrots in the mix.

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, salt, pepper and sugar. Toss with remaining ingredients in a larger bowl. Refrigerate at least an hour before serving, to chill and allow vinaigrette to pickle the salad.