Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Coconut Cake

I had a friend of mine ask me to make her a coconut cake for her birthday. I have baked a lot but I have never baked a cake from scratch. I looked at many different recipes and finally decided to use Paula Deen's recipe. This is it: I did the cake and the filling but I decided to use a different frosting. I used the vanilla buttercream from Magnolia Bakery but instead of vanilla I added cocnut extract. Overall, I was really happy with it. I got to share a piece with my friend before I sent it home with her. I would love to bake more cakes in the future.
Jamie's Coconut Cake
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups sifted self-rising flour
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans.
Using an electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and continue to cream well for 6 to 8 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and coconut milk alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and continue to beat until just mixed.
Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Level batter in each pan by holding pan 3 or 4-inches above counter, then dropping it flat onto counter. Do this several times to release air bubbles and assure you of a more level cake.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until done. Cool in pans 5 to 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto cooling racks.

Stir together sugar, sour cream, milk, and coconut in a bowl until well blended. Place the first cake layer onto pedestal. Using the wrong end of a wooden spoon, poke holes approximately 1-inch apart until entire cake has been poked. Spread a third of filling mixture on cake layer. Top with second layer, repeat process. Top with last layer and repeat process again.
Cook's Note: As each layer is stacked, stick them with toothpicks to prevent cake from shifting.
Magnolia's Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Makes enough for one 2-layer 9-inch cake or 2 dozen cupcakes*
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I used coconut extract to taste instead)
Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.) Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Almond Cookies

I don't normally buy shortening because I prefer baking with butter. My husband had requested some cookies that called for shortening so I had some left over. I searched the Crisco website and found these. I love the taste of almond extract in baked goods so I gave these a shot. They are very similar to the almond cookies that you may get at the end of a Chinese meal at a restaurant. I did not put the almonds on them. I even made them a second time and added some cherry extract as well. I gave them to three people and they all loved them.
Almond Cookies
1 cup Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening
OR 1 stick Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening Sticks
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons almond extract
2 1/4 cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
48 whole almonds
Makes 4 dozen

1. COMBINE shortening and sugar in large bowl. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in egg and almond extract until well blended.
2. COMBINE flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Add to shortening mixture; blend well. Wrap dough in plastic wrap; refrigerate 2 hours.
3. HEAT oven to 350ºF. Roll rounded tablespoonfuls of dough into balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheets about 2 inches apart; flatten slightly with fingertips. Gently press an almond into center of each.
4. BAKE 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are just done but not brown. Cool on cookie sheet 4 minutes; transfer to cooling racks.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Portobello Gravy

I am a fan of Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen from RealAge. I get a weekly newsletter on Email from RealAge with the newest health news and sometimes it includes recipes. When I saw this recipe
I was so excited. My husband and I try to eat healthy most of the time. We both love mushrooms so I thought this would be good. It was better than good, it was great! The first time we ate it I poured it over garlic mashed potatoes and a rotisserie chicken from Costco. It was a perfect meal. I had leftovers the next day so I added some fat free half and half. It made a delicious creamy mushroom soup. When you eat this you will be surpised that it is so good for you. If you ate the whole batch it would only be 350 calories. I highly recommend this.
Portobello Gravy
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 each medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups chopped cleaned portobello mushrooms (2 medium)
2 1/4 cups vegetable broth
3 tablespoons tamari or reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/8 teaspoon crumbled dried sage
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until they begin to release their juices, about 10 minutes.
2. Add broth, tamari (or soy sauce), thyme and sage; simmer for 10 minutes. Mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Stir into the sauce and simmer, stirring often, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes more. Season with pepper. If you prefer a smooth gravy, pass it through a fine sieve (discard mushrooms and onions). Serve hot.

Per serving (8 servings)
Calories: 44
Carbohydrates: 5g
Fat: 2g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1g
Protein: 1g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Dietary Fiber: 1g
Potassium: 100mg
Sodium: 510mg

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of the gifts my husband bought for me for our first Christmas together was a cookbook titled "The New Best Recipe" by the people at Cook's Illustrated. I am not sure if he knew it at the time but it's a really great cookbook. I have heard many people rave about the chocolate chip cookie recipe so I decided to give them a try. They are the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever made. I have made them many times and I usually pre measure the dough balls and freeze them. That way I can always have fresh hot cookies and I only have a few to tempt me. When I do this I cook them for 18 minutes.
One thing I have learned from this recipe is to weigh my ingredients instead of measuring them. It makes it so much easier. You get the exact amount every time and use less measuring cups so there is less to clean up. I now do this for all of my baking and cooking.

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/8 cups bleached all-purpose flour (about 10 1/2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon
table salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted and cooled slightly
1 cup
brown sugar (light or dark), 7 ounces
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 - 2 cups
chocolate chips or chunks (semi or bittersweet)
1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions. Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
2. Either by hand or with electric mixer, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Mix in egg, yolk, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients; mix until just combined. Stir in chips.
3. Following illustrations below, form scant 1/4 cup dough into ball. Holding dough ball using fingertips of both hands, pull into two equal halves. Rotate halves ninety degrees and, with jagged surfaces exposed, join halves together at their base, again forming a single cookie, being careful not to smooth dough’s uneven surface. Place formed dough onto one of two parchment paper-lined 20-by-14-inch lipless cookie sheets, about nine dough balls per sheet. Smaller cookie sheets can be used, but fewer cookies can be baked at one time and baking time may need to be adjusted. (Dough can be refrigerated up to 2 days or frozen up to 1 month—shaped or not.)
4. Bake, reversing cookie sheets’ positions halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes (start checking at 13 minutes). (Frozen dough requires an extra 1 to 2 minutes baking time.) Cool cookies on cookie sheets. Serve or store in airtight container.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Zucchini Bread

Our garden is producing zucchini at a very rapid pace. We have had roasted zucchini and sauteed zucchini so the logical next step was zucchini bread. I used a recipe from Cooking Light. I cut the recipe in half because I only wanted one loaf to make sure I liked it (and because I only have one loaf pan). It was quite good for being somewhat healthy. I am probably going to keep trying recipes just to use up more zucchini.
Zucchini Bread
2 cups coarsely shredded zucchini (can also use bananas for Banana Bread)
3 cups all-purpose flour (I used half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour)
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup egg substitute
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Vegetable cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350°.
Place zucchini on several layers of paper towels, and cover with additional paper towel. Let stand 5 minutes, pressing down occasionally. Set aside.
Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (flour through baking powder) in a large bowl, and stir well; make a well in center of mixture. Combine zucchini, applesauce, egg substitute, oil, and vanilla; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Divide batter evenly between 2 (7 1/2 x 3-inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes (I only cooked mine for 1 hour and it was done) or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire rack.
2 loaves, 28 servings (serving size: 1 slice)
Nutritional Information
CALORIES 128(20% from fat); FAT 2.8g (sat 0.5g,mono 0.8g,poly 1.3g); PROTEIN 1.9g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 9mg; SODIUM 136mg; FIBER 0.5g; IRON 0.8mg; CARBOHYDRATE 23.9g
Cooking Light, APRIL 1996

The Garden Continues to Grow

Look at all of these zucchini! They seem to grow overnight. Those are two differnt sets that were picked in addition to the others that I have already posted. The tomatoes are also really starting to turn red quickly. I am going to have to start giving these away to people because we can't eat them fast enough. I have a feeling I will be posting a lot of zucchini recipes until the plants are gone.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Chicken with Fruit Salsa and a Side of Sweet Potatoes

I bought a bunch of fruit and wanted to do something with it. I have had mango salsa with chicken before and loved it. I had some fresh peaches, pineapple, and mango so I threw them together with some sweet onion and orange bell pepper. I even added a few dashes of tabasco sauce. It tasted really good and went great with the chicken I cooked up in the pan. We also had some sweet potatoes so I cooked them, mashed them, added some Smart Balance Light, nonfat milk and brown sugar Splenda. They were so good. Sweet potatoes are becoming one of our favorite vegetables. I am looking forward to finding new ways to cook with all the delicious summer fruit.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Chinese Takeout Orange Chicken

I got this recipe from the Nest's What Cooking board. The blog I got it from was My husband and I both really like orange chicken but we don't like how bad it is for you. When I found this recipe I knew I had to try it. This was second time making it and I think it is now almost perfect with the changes I made. We put it over brown rice to make it a little healthier. Here is the original recipe with my changes.

Chinese Take-Out Style Orange Chicken
Modified mostly from A Baker's Dozen
1.5 Lbs. Stir-Fry Cut Chicken (or breasts cut into very thin, long strips) I used 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into strips
3 Tbsp. Flour
Salt & Pepper
1/4 tsp. Orange Zest
2-4 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
1 Large Garlic Clove, minced
2 Green Onion Stalks, chopped (I used 3 stalks)
Juice from 3/4 Orange (I used the whole orange)
2-3 Tbsp. Rice Vinegar (I only put in about 1 1/2 T)
2-3 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp. Sesame Oil (I omitted this time because I did not like it last time)
1/4 tsp. Grated Fresh Ginger (we don't like ginger so I omitted)
1/8 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes (I put in about 1/2 tsp)
1/2 C. Brown Sugar (This is a nice amount. I halved the original amount, and if you want, you could bring it down to 1/3, maybe even 1/4.) I used 1/3 cup (after trying 1/2 cup last time) but will probably try 1/4 cup next time.
1/2-1 C. plus 1/3 C. Water
1 Tbsp. Cornstarch
Sesame Seeds (didn't use)

In a large ziplock bag, mix together flour, salt, pepper, and orange zest. Add in chicken and shake to coat all the meat.
In a large saute pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-low heat. When it is hot, add in as much chicken as will comfortably fit and brown on all sides. I had to cook the chicken in 2 batches.
When the chicken is cooked, remove to a plate with a papertowel to drain. Keep warm. (I only did this with one batch as my sauce was ready when the second batch was finished.)
While the chicken pan is heating and the chicken is cooking, get a medium saucepan going over medium heat with a dash of olive/ veggie oil.
Saute the garlic and green onions for a minute or two until the garlic is soft, but not browned.
Add in the ginger, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, OJ, and red pepper, 1/2 C. water. Stir and bring to a gentle boil.
Stir in the brown sugar until it melts. Continue letting the sauce simmer, thickening up.
Mix together the remaining 1/3 C. of water and the cornstarch. Stir into the sauce to make it a nice thick consistency.
Taste the sauce and add more water as you see fit to get the flavor and texture you desire. I put in enough water so that the consistency was thick enough to coat, but thin enough that it flows and that it wasn't overly sweet.
With the sauce and chicken both done, put the chicken back in the large saute pan over low heat. Pour in the sauce and stir to coat the chicken.
Plate the chicken and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Choc-Oat-Chip Cookies

I got this recipe from the Nestle website. My husband had requested them because he remembers his mom making these for him as a child. I made these cookies for my him to take to work. They were flatter than I thought they would be but tasted good.

Choc-Oat-Chip Cookies
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional)

Directions:PREHEAT oven to 375° F.COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat brown sugar, butter and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats, morsels and nuts; mix well. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.BAKE for 9 to 10 minutes for chewy cookies or 12 to 13 minutes for crispy cookies. Cool on baking sheets for 1 minute; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Vegetable Garden Goodies

These are the most recent pictures of the goodies from our garden. The zucchini are really starting to come fast and we got our first beans.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Strawberry Cupcakes

I kept hearing about these cupcakes on the Nest's What's Cooking board. I love cupcakes. I knew the friends I would be seeing tonight also love cupcakes, especially strawberry cupcakes. I was so excited when I tasted them. They are so good. I got raves from the six other people who got to try them as well. Here is the blog that I got the recipe from:

Angie's Famous Strawberry Cupcakes
Ingredients:2 1/2 c. cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c. unsalted butter1
1/2 c. sugar (or a little less)
2 eggs
1/3 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c. chopped strawberries
For the frosting:
1/4 c. strawberries
1 Tbsp. strawberry liquor (I couldn't find it so I used extra strawberry puree)
1/2 tsp lemon juice
8 oz. cream cheese, room temp
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
1 3/4 c. powdered sugar
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare 2 cupcake pans. (my batch made about 20 cupcakes)
Sift flour, salt, and baking soda in medium bowl.
In bowl of mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time until combined.
Add buttermilk, oil and vanilla until combined.
Add flour mixture and stir until just combined.
Fold in berries.
Fill cupcake pans 3/4 way.
Bake for 20 minutes.

For frosting, put berries, liquor, and juice in saucepan.
Bring to a boil over medium heat and then reduce to a simmer for 5 mins.
Let cool then blend until smooth.
In bowl of mixer mix cream cheese and butter until creamy.
Add sugar, then vanilla.
Add berry puree until smooth.
Frost cupcakes when they are completely cooled.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Pizza Turned Calzone

I really wanted to make pizza with the pizza stone I had gotten as a shower gift. So I used a whole wheat pizza crust from Trader Joe's, jarred pizza sauce (I didn't have the time or the energy to make sauce), a fat free cheese mix of Cheddar and Mozzarella, and some toppings (onions, olives, mushrooms and turkey sausage). It looked so good but I knew I had made too many toppings. I tried to move it to the pizza stone in the oven and I could not get it to move. I eventually got it to the stone but at that point it was ruined. We made a decision to turn it into a calzone. The crust cooked well and the cheese melted. It tasted good and that was all that mattered. Next time I will put on less toppings and put it on a surface where it will not stick so I can make actual pizza.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Low Fat Blueberry Muffins

I have wanted to bake since starting my healthy eating plan. I decided that this was a good place to start. I changed up the recipe a bit. I thought they were good and my husband liked them because they were not too sweet. I would recommend spraying the muffin tins with cooking spray instead of putting them in liners because mine stuck to the liners.

Low Fat Blueberry Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup non-fat milk
2 tbsp canola oil (I used Smart Balance)
1 large egg, lightly beaten (I used egg substitute)
1 cup blueberries (I used dried that were soaked in boiling water for 15 minutes , then drained)
Preparation:Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a nonstick 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper cups.
In a large bowl, stir flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. In a small bowl, combine milk, canola oil and egg.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add milk, oil and egg mixture. Stir until just moist. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full and bake 18-20 minutes until golden. Cool on wire rack.
Makes 12 muffins.
Per Muffin: Calories 137, Calories from Fat 26, Total Fat 2.9g (Sat 0.3g), Cholesterol 18mg, Sodium 159mg, Carbohydrate 24.3g, Fiber 0.9g, Protein 3.5g

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Pasta and Veggies

This was last night's dinner. DH actually cooked(he never cooks) the corn dish. He found it in a vegetable gardening book I got at the library. It was actually very good. The pasta is a dish that I came up with on my own. The zucchini/yellow squash is just roasted but oh so good.

Creamy Pasta
I don't measure any of my ingredients for this. I just put in how much we want.

Chicken (boneless, skinless breasts)
Mushrooms (sliced)
Onions (sliced and cut into quarters)
Minced Garlic
Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper, and Garlic Salt to Taste
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Fat Free Half and Half
8-10 oz Whole Wheat Pasta (I used regular last night)

Bring pot to boil. Add pasta. Heat olive oil in pan. Add chicken. Cook for a bit. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms. Once cooked pour in fat free half and half with a little flour to thicken it up. Let it come to a simmer and let it cook until at the consistency you like. Add seasoning and parmesan cheese. Drain pasta and add to sauce. Toss and enjoy.

Corn Maque Choux

1 T butter
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and diced (we used an orange one)
4 cups corn, cooked and stripped from the cob (we used frozen)
2 tomatoes
1/2 tsp tabasco sauce (we use more)
Salt and pepper
Cayenne pepper to taste

Heat the butter in a heavy pan and saute the onion until softened. Add the pepper and continue cooking 3-4 minutes. Toss in the corn and the remaining ingredients and, over a low heat, simmer for 10 minutes. Adjust the seasoning and serve.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Strawberry-Peach Fat Free Frozen Yogurt

I used my ice cream maker for the first time this weekend. It was so easy. I would love to make the real stuff but my husband and I need to eat healthy. This was good. I think I may make a few changes next time. I may try fat free half and half instead of milk and I would add more fruit and not puree all of it.

Fat Free Peach Frozen Yogurt

Makes: about 2 quarts
1 (16-ounce) container plain fat-free yogurt
2 cups pureed fresh or frozen peaches (I used strawberries as well)
1 (14-ounce) can Eagle Brand Fat Free Sweetened Condensed Skimmed Milk (not evaporated milk)
1 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Combine all of the ingredients and add to ice cream maker. Freeze according to directions for your ice cream maker. Store in airtight container.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Beans and Rice

This is a new favorite for my husband and I. This is the second time we have made it and I just kind of throw things in until we like it. We made it with brown rice this time (even healthierand I made extra to make chicken fried rice the next night). We used a can of pinto beans with jalapenos (last time we used black beans). I added a can of diced tomatoes (seasoned with oregano, basil and garlic), some salsa. oregano, tabasco, and cumin. It tastes so good and is even better the next day when all the flavors soak into the rice. We will definitely be sticking with brown rice and we will probably go back to black beans. I love that I am now able to make meals by just throwing stuff in instead of just following a recipe.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Zucchini from the Garden

Here is the third zucchini and the first tomato from our garden. So being that we had three now we decided to cook them. I just drizzled them with olive oil and sprinkled them with salt and pepper. I cooked them at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes and they were so good. We have been roasting a lot of vegetables lately and they always turn out well. I am looking forward to cooking a lot more zucchini.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Marbled-Chocolate Banana Bread

I knew I was having lunch with one of my best friends today. She has been such a great friend lately that I wanted to surprise her with a loaf of banana bread. She loves this bread. I have made it for her many times and she requests it for her birthday and special occasions. It is a Cooking Light recipe so it is not horrible for you either. The only change I make is that I just throw mini chocolate chips into the finished batter instead of doing the marbling. I need to make this again for myself. I am always giving it away.
Marbled-Chocolate Banana Bread
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1/2 cup egg substitute
1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chipsCooking spray
Preheat oven to 350°.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
Place sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add banana, egg substitute, and yogurt; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist.
Place chocolate chips in a medium microwave-safe bowl, and microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until almost melted, stirring until smooth. Cool slightly. Add 1 cup batter to chocolate, stirring until well combined. Spoon chocolate batter alternately with plain batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Swirl batters together using a knife. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Yield: 1 loaf, 16 slices
(serving size: 1 slice)CALORIES 183 (23% from fat); FAT 4.7g (sat 2.8g,mono 1.4g,poly 0.2g); PROTEIN 3.1g; CHOLESTEROL 8mg; CALCIUM 18mg; SODIUM 180mg; FIBER 1.3g; IRON 1.1mg; CARBOHYDRATE 33.4g Cooking Light, SEPTEMBER 2003

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My Vegetable Garden

Here are the first two zucchini from our vegetable garden. They are about 7 inches each.
This is our first artichoke. I was so excited to see it. That is life size so it's got a way to go.

Fleming's Macaroni and Cheese

This recipe was printed in our local paper per a reader's request. The chef from Fleming's provided the recipe. I tried to lighten it up a bit and it was so good. I love being able to make things at home that taste like the dishes you love at a restaurant. It was a little more time consuming than I thought it would be but it was worth it.

Yield:8-10 servings
1 pound cavatappi or curly pasta
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3/4 cup onion, 1/2-inch diced
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter (I used Smart Balance)
3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cups heavy cream (I used 2 cups fat free half and half)
3 cups half and half (I used 3 cups fat free half and half)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
3/4 pound smoked cheddar cheese, grated; see cook's notes
1/4 pound cheddar cheese, grated (I used the 2% sharp cheddar cheese)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
Cook's notes: Smoked cheddar cheese is available at Whole Foods and Bristol Farms.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot, bring 1 gallon of water to boil. Add 2 teaspoons salt and pasta and cook for 8-9 minutes. Drain pasta and cool under cold running water. Pasta should be slightly firm. Toss drained pasta in oil and reserve.
2.Melt butter in a large sauce pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Add flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, but do not brown. Add cream, half and half, kosher salt and white pepper. Bring pot to a simmer. Cook until sauce is thick, about 5-6 minutes. Blend cheese into sauce. Add cooked pasta.
3. Pour pasta and sauce into a 9-by-12-inch baking dish. Reserve.
4.In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, add oil and chipotle chili powder. Heat for 30 seconds, until pan starts to smoke. Remove from stove and stir in bread crumbs.
5.Sprinkle bread crumbs over the pasta and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden. Cool slightly before serving.

My First Post-Fried Rice

This was my first attempt at fried rice and it turned out great. I did not even follow a recipe and used my wok for the first time.