Saturday, August 24, 2013

Ginger-Ale Glazed Carrots

I'm not a huge fan of using soda pop in cooking. But I'm not a huge fan of cooked carrots, so if a little ginger ale may get me to eat my vegetables, it might be a worthwhile compromise.

1 lb carrots
2 Tbls butter
pinch salt
1 C ginger ale 
½ tsp chili powder
1 Tbls chopped fresh parsley leaves

Peel carrots, slice ¼" thick on the bias. Combine the carrots, butter, salt and ginger ale in a saute pan over medium heat. Cover; bring to a simmer. Once simmering, remove lid, stir, and reduce heat to low. Cover again and cook 5 minutes. Remove the lid, add the chili powder. Increase eat to high. Cook, tossing occasionally, until ginger ale is reduced to a glaze (about 4 or 5 minutes). Serve immediately, sprinkled with chopped parsley.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Cheesy Cauliflower Pancakes

1 head cauliflower
2 large eggs
½ C cheddar cheese, grated
½ C bread crumbs
½ tsp cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
olive oil


Cut cauliflower into florets and cook in boiling water until tender (about 10 minutes). Drain. Mash while still warm. Stir in cheese, eggs, bread crumbs, cayenne & salt to taste. (My pancake batter seemed a little too runny, so I added a little extra bread crumbs.)

Coat griddle or skillet with olive oil over medium-high heat. Drop -- and spread if needed -- the cauliflower mixture into 3" pancakes; cook until golden brown and set (about 3 minutes per side). Keep each batch warm in oven while cooking the rest.

I got 11 pancakes out of one head of cauliflower (1 recipe); some of mine were a little more than 3", so you could probably figure on a dozen.

Gingerbread Blackberry Muffins

3 C flour
2½ Tbls baking powder
1 Tbls ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
¾ tsp cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp allspice
1 C butter, softened
1 C brown sugar
1 C dark molasses
4 eggs
1 C buttermilk
1¼ C blackberries*

* or substitute blueberries, cranberries, even raspberries

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease or spray muffin pans, or use paper liners. Combine flour, baking powder and spices. In separate bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Add molasses, eggs (one at a time), and buttermilk. Using an electric mixer is optional, but it makes a lighter, fluffier batter. Add flour mixture all at once and stir until just combined. Layer batter with berries in muffin cups until ¾ full. Bake 20-25 minutes.

Cool 5 minutes before removing from pan (if not using paper liners). I topped mine with raw/turbinado sugar, but that's definitely not necessary.

Makes about 30 muffins. I often just make a half recipe.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

'Monkey Bites'

Hardly need a recipe for these. Saw them in a magazine promoted as a 'better for you' frozen dessert.

peanut butter
optional garnish: sea salt or peanuts

Slice bananas; freeze the slices for about an hour - on a cookie sheet lightly coated with non-stick spray. Spread half the slices with peanut butter; top with the other half of the slices, then refreeze for another hour. Melt chocolate (chips, broken up chocolate bars...) in a double boiler. Dip the peanut-butter-banana bites in the chocolate. Top with coarse sea salt or half of a peanut. The 'Monkey Bites' can be returned to the freezer for a frozen treat, but they'll also keep equally well in the fridge for a softer bite.

Sparkling Blackberry Mint Julep

mini ice cubes or crushed ice 
½ C blackberries
4 Tbls mint leaves, torn or roughly chopped
2 Tbls simple syrup*
3 oz bourbon
prosecco (or other sparkling wine)

* Combine equal parts water and sugar; bring to boil just long enough to melt sugar. Cool.

Fill 8 oz glasses with ice cubes/crushed ice.

Muddle blackberries, mint leaves and simple syrup in shaker (or bowl).  Add 1 C ice and bourbon; shake (or mix) well. Strain and pour into glasses, filling ¾ full. Finish filling glasses with Prosecco.

Garnish, if desired, with additional mint leaves and/or blackberries. Serve with a short straw.

For a non-alcoholic version, simply skip the bourbon and use seltzer water or ginger ale instead of prosecco.