Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cinnamon Swirl Coffeecake Muffins

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup egg substitute
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 7 3/4 ounces)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray
6 tablespoons powdered sugar
3 teaspoons fresh orange juice
Dash of salt
Preheat oven to 400°.

Combine first 3 ingredients; set aside.

Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 3 minutes). Add egg substitute; beat 3 minutes. Beat in sour cream, water, and vanilla.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture; add sour cream mixture. Stir just until combined.

Place 3 tablespoons brown sugar mixture in a small bowl; set aside. Sprinkle surface of batter with remaining brown sugar mixture. Gently fold batter 4 times.

Place 18 paper muffin cup liners in muffin cups; coat liners with cooking spray. Spoon batter into prepared cups. Sprinkle batter evenly with reserved brown sugar mixture. Bake at 400° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove muffins from pan immediately; place on a wire rack. Cool 10 minutes.

Combine powdered sugar, juice, and dash of salt in a small bowl, stirring until smooth. Drizzle powdered sugar mixture evenly over muffins.

--Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

Turkey Tamale Potpie

Cooking spray
3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground turkey breast
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup all-purpose flour (about 4 1/2 ounces)
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 425°.
To prepare filling, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, and turkey; cook 5 minutes or until turkey loses its pink color. Add chili powder, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, tomatoes, and beans; cook 3 minutes. Spoon turkey mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

To prepare topping, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Combine buttermilk and egg; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moist. Spread cornmeal mixture evenly over turkey mixture. Bake at 425° for 18 minutes or until topping is golden.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Bacon Maple Waffles

2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
1/3 cup maple syrup

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Place flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; stir with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine milk, 3 tablespoons syrup, butter, bacon, and eggs, stirring with a whisk. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moist.

Preheat a waffle iron. Coat iron with cooking spray. Spoon about 1/3 cup batter per waffle onto hot waffle iron, spreading batter to edges. Cook 4 to 5 minutes or until steaming stops; repeat procedure with remaining batter. Serve waffles with 1/3 cup syrup.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Spice Rubbed Salmon with Cucumber Relish

1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, skinned
Cooking spray
2 cups chopped cucumber
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon cider (or rice) vinegar

Preheat broiler.

Combine first 6 ingredients, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and dried thyme; rub evenly over fish. Place fish on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 8 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, cucumber, and remaining ingredients; serve with fish.

--Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

Raspberry-Topped Amaretto Tarts

Yield - 2 servings (serving size: 1 tart)

1/4 cup vanilla wafer cookie crumbs (about 6 cookies)
1 1/2 teaspoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon sugar
Cooking spray

1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk, divided
3 tablespoons sugar
5 teaspoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons amaretto (almond-flavored liqueur)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup fresh raspberries
Fresh mint sprigs (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare crust, combine crumbs, butter, and 1 teaspoon sugar, tossing with a fork until moist. Divide mixture evenly between 2 (4.75-inch) ceramic crème brûlée dishes coated with cooking spray. Press mixture into bottom of dishes. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until lightly browned; cool completely on a wire rack.

To prepare filling, combine 1/4 cup milk, 3 tablespoons sugar, cornstarch, salt, and egg yolk in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Heat 3/4 cup milk over medium heat in a small, heavy saucepan to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil). Gradually add hot milk to sugar mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Place mixture in pan; cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 5 minutes), stirring constantly.
Remove pan from heat; stir in liqueur and vanilla. Spoon custard into a small bowl; place bowl inside a medium ice-filled bowl for 10 minutes or until custard comes to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Remove bowl from ice; spoon custard into prepared crusts. Cover and chill 2 to 6 hours.

Uncover tarts. Arrange 1/4 cup raspberries on top of each tart. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired.

--Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

Strawberry Margarita Pie

2 cups strawberries (I used frozen.)
lime zest from one lime
1/4 cup lime juice
1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp tequila
2 Tbsp Triple Sec
1 container of Cool Whip

Purée strawberries, zest, lime juice, condensed milk, tequila, and triple sec in a food processor until just smooth, then transfer to a large bowl. Fold in container of cool whip.

Pour filling into a premade graham cracker crust and freeze for about 4 hours, or overnight. Remove from freezer right before serving and garnish with strawberries and limes.

--Adapted from several sources, Gourmet, 2006, Manchester Highlands Inn, and the blogs, “Confections of a Foodie Bride," "Annie's Eats," and "Hostess with the Mostess"

Parmesan Pasta with Chicken and Rosemary

Yield - Makes 4 servings

12 ounces (3 cups) orecchiette pasta
1 3 1/2- to 4-pound rotisserie chicken
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
Kosher salt and pepper

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Shred the chicken, using a fork or your fingers, while the pasta cooks. Discard the skin and bones. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 1/4 cups of the water. Return the pasta to the pot. Add the reserved pasta water, chicken, rosemary, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to the pot. Stir over medium-low heat until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Divide among individual bowls and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.

-Adapted from Real Simple Magazine

Chicken and Strawberries over Mixed Greens

Yield - 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups chicken mixture and 1 cup greens)

2 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 breasts)
2 cups quartered small strawberries (about 1 pint)
1/3 cup finely chopped celery
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted (We used sesame seed oil.)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups gourmet salad greens

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine sesame seeds (or oil) and next 6 ingredients (sesame seeds through pepper) in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Pour over chicken mixture; toss well to coat. Cover and chill 1 hour. Serve over salad greens.

-Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Garlic Roasted Green Beans

2 pounds green beans, trimmed
3 cloves garlic, sliced
4 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425°.

Place a jelly-roll pan in oven for 10 minutes. Place beans in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss well to coat. Arrange green bean mixture in a single layer on preheated baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 8 minutes or until crisp-tender.

Balsamic-Glazed Flank Steak

1 (16-ounce) beef flank or hangar steak
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 tablespoons dry sherry
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey

Sprinkle both sides of steaks evenly with salt and black pepper. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add steak to pan; cook 7 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove steaks from pan; keep warm.

Add garlic and red pepper to pan; sauté 30 seconds. Add sherry to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 30 seconds. Add soy sauce and remaining ingredients; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, and cook 1 minute. Serve with steak.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Frittata with Smoked Cheese and Canadian Bacon

1 1/2 cups frozen Southern-style hash brown potatoes (such as Ore-Ida)
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/3 cup diced Canadian bacon (about 2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
6 large eggs
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded smoked cheddar or smoked mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
Green onion strips (optional)

Preheat oven to 425.

Heat a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add potatoes, onion, and bacon; saute 8 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown. Remove from pan. Wipe pan clean with paper towels. Combine salt, hot sauce, pepper, and eggs in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir in potato mixture, cheese, and chopped green onions.

Heat pan over medium heat. Pour in egg mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 3 minutes or until bottom is lightly browned, lifting edges and tilting skillet as eggs cook to allow uncooked portion to flow underneath cooked portion.Wrap handle of pan with foil. Bake 3 minutes or until top is lightly browned and set. Garnish with green onion strips, if desired.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Grilled Green Onion Flatbread

1 loaf (1 lb.) frozen white or whole-wheat bread dough, thawed to room temperature ( NB: Pillsbury French loaf dough works well, but skip step 2)
3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup sliced green onions
About 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1. With your hands, flatten bread dough on a board. Top with olive oil and green onions and knead into dough until incorporated (dough will be sticky).

2. Place dough in a bowl and cover. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, 50 to 60 minutes.

3. On a floured board, knead dough briefly to expel air. Divide into 12 equal pieces. Shape each into a ball and coat with flour. Roll each ball into a 4- to 5-inch round, sprinkling with flour as needed to prevent sticking. Space rounds evenly on two floured 15- by 17-inch baking sheets. Cover loosely and let rise until puffy, 20 to 30 minutes.

4. Lay rounds of dough on a lightly oiled barbecue grill over a solid bed of medium coals or medium heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand at grill level only 4 to 5 seconds); close lid (open vents for charcoal). Cook until rounds are browned on the bottom, about 2 minutes; turn, replace lid, and cook until browned on the other side, 1 to 2 minutes longer.

5. Transfer breads to a bowl. Serve hot (cover with foil to keep warm up to 30 minutes) or cool.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Savory Potato Salad

3 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed
1 1-oz. packet vegetable soup mix
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 stalks celery, minced
2 tablespoons minced red onion
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 cup mayonnaise
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup packed arugula leaves, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup packed parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

Cover potatoes with 1 inch of cold water in a large pot or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Cook until potatoes are tender and a knife inserted in center of a potato meets no resistance, 25 to 30 minutes.

Drain and let cool slightly. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, chop into 1-inch pieces and place in a large bowl. Toss potatoes with soup mix, vinegar and pepper to taste. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool, 20 to 25 minutes.

Toss potatoes with celery, onion, mustard, mayonnaise and lemon zest. Fold in arugula and parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Serve immediately, or chill, covered, until ready to use.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Penne with Bacon, Spinach, and Buttery Crumbs

This is good, but it's not cheesy.

8 ounces French bread
Cooking spray
3/4 cup (3 ounces) chopped bacon
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 ounces)
3 3/4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk, divided
1/4 cup half-and-half
6 cups chopped fresh spinach
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
8 cups hot cooked penne (about 1 pound uncooked tube-shaped pasta)
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425°.

Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 4 cups; set aside.

Heat a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray. Add bacon and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour in a small bowl; gradually add 3/4 cup milk, stirring until smooth. Add flour mixture, remaining 3 cups milk, and half-and-half to pan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, and simmer 2 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Add spinach; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese, salt, and pepper, stirring until cheese melts.

Place pasta in a large bowl. Add sauce mixture to pasta; toss well. Spoon mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine breadcrumbs and butter; toss well. Sprinkle over pasta mixture.

Bake at 425° for 6 minutes or until crumbs are lightly browned.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Garlicky Lima Beans

Very good.

4 cups fresh (or frozen) lima beans
2 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced
3 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Sort and wash beans; drain. Combine beans and next 5 ingredients (through bay leaf) in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until tender. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Stir in salt and pepper.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Thai Fish Sauce and Lime Chicken

4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons sweetened chili sauce
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts
Lime wedges (optional)

Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.

Add broth, chili sauce, and fish sauce; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook until broth mixture is reduced to 2/3 cup (about 4 minutes). Remove from heat; add lime juice and peanut butter, stirring until smooth. Serve sauce over chicken; sprinkle with peanuts. Garnish with lime wedges, if desired.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Asparagus Pasta with Toasted Pecans

1 (16-ounce) package penne pasta
1 bunch fresh asparagus (about 1 pound)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup pecan halves, toasted and divided

Garnishes: freshly grated Parmesan cheese, freshly ground pepper

Prepare pasta according to package directions; rinse and drain.

Snap off tough ends of asparagus, and cut into 2-inch pieces.

Sauté asparagus in hot oil in a large skillet over medium heat 4 minutes. Stir in red bell pepper and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 2 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender. Stir in salt and pepper.

Toss together pasta, asparagus mixture, basil, 1/2 cup cheese, butter, and 1/2 cup pecans. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and 1/2 cup pecans. Garnish, if desired.

--Adapted from Southern Living magazine

Monday, July 6, 2009

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chipsters

Who could not love a cookie that combines oatmeal, peanut butter and chocolate?!

3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chunks, or 1 1/2 cups store-bought chocolate chips or chunks

Position racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Whisk together the oats, flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients, beating only until blended. Mix in the chips.

If you have the time, cover and chill the dough for about 2 hours or for up to one day. (Chilling the dough will give you more evenly shaped cookies.) If the dough is not chilled, drop rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto the baking sheets. If the dough is chilled, scoop up rounded tablespoons, roll the balls between your palms and place them 2 inches apart on the sheets. Press the chilled balls gently with the heel of your hand until they are about 1/2 inch thick.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back after 7 minutes. The cookies should be golden and just firm around the edges. Lift the cookies onto cooling racks with a wide metal spatula - they'll firm as they cool.

Dark Chocolate and Cherry Brownies

These brownies were great as they were moist and dense, but we could not detect much of the cherry flavor. I would suggest adding more cherry preserves, and possibly some cherry juice to the batter if you really want to bring out the cherry.

Cooking spray
3.4 ounces all-purpose flour (about 3/4 cup)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cherry preserves
1/3 cup water
5 tablespoons butter
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 large egg white
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper; coat with cooking spray.

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, unsweetened cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl; stir with a whisk.

Combine cherry preserves, 1/3 cup water, and butter in a small saucepan; bring to a boil.

Add preserves mixture to flour mixture; stir well. Add egg and egg white; stir until smooth. Stir in semisweet chocolate chips.

Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool in pan on wire rack. Garnish with powdered sugar, if desired.

- Adapted from Cooking Light magazine