Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
For my bridal luncheon, my grandma requested that each guest bring a recipe for me to add to my collection. I was looking for some new ideas for this week, and came across the little file she made to put them in--fun to look back to a year ago about this time! My cousin Carianne, who I have mentioned here before for her recipes I like, gave me her recipe for broccoli salad. This would be a great side to bring to a potluck type thing, but don't forget it has mayo and leave it sitting on a picnic table all afternoon! I used the full amount of broccoli, but only made half of the dressing amount originally called for. I normally like just enough dressing on things to taste it, and this amount did the trick for me.
1 cup dried cranberries (used golden raisins)
1 small can sliced water chestnuts
roasted sliced almonds (however much you want?)
1/2 cup light mayo (could sub nonfat plain yogurt here)
1/4 cup sugar or other sweetener of choice
1 T apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Combine broccoli, cranberries, and water chestnuts in a large bowl. In small bowl, combine mayo, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. Cover broccoli with mayo mixture and toss together. Top with sliced almonds. Serve cold.
We have a fun few weeks ahead of us! This week, we are going out to dinner with some family members that until the last year, we didn't get to see a lot. This year, I actually get to see one of them every single day, as he is my student aide for one of my classes! So great to reconnect with family!
My class is putting on the dinner for the high school's dinner theater this week, which will be happening Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. They are putting on "And Then There Were None" by Agatha Christie, which is a psychological thriller. We are planning on about 180 people throughout the three nights. We get to go to the show Thursday night, which I am excited about!
Another exciting thing coming up for my class is that we were asked to put on the senior breakfast, which means feeding approximately 425 people at 7:30 in the morning on a Tuesday! What was I thinking when I agreed to that???? We are trying to think of all things we can make ahead, and that will be inexpensive to make. We have some ideas, but mostly obvious ones like pancakes, eggs, and bacon. Any other good ideas would be appreciated!
adapted from Bon Appetit, October 1991
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
5 large eggs
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup graham cracker, roughly crushed with your hands
12 big marshmallows (I also diced 6 additional marshmallows and stirred them into the batter. These marshmallows dissolve when baked, so you can leave them out, or throw them in. Up to you!)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9×13-inch baking pan with 2-inch-high sides. Combine first 3 ingredients in small bowl. Stir butter and chocolate in a medium sized bowl over a heavy saucepan of simmering water. Stir chocolate and butter in this double boiler until melted and smooth.
Beat eggs, sugar and vanilla in large bowl to blend. Stir in warm chocolate mixture, then dry ingredients. Fold in graham crackers. Pour batter into prepared pan. Dot with 12 large marshmallows. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 30- 40 minutes minutes.
Marshmallows will be browned and puffy but will deflate as the brownies cool. Cool for at least 20 minutes than slice with a sharp knife, cleaning the knife with hot water if it gets too messy and sticky. Serve or wrap individually in wax paper for storing.
Friday, April 24, 2009
(picture yesterday with avocado dip!)
3 bagels, unsliced
nonstick cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350.
Slice bagels in very thin slices horizontally. The easiest way to do it is to press down on the top with your palm and then cut. Just don't cut your hand!
Lay bagel slices out on pan in single layer.
Spray bagles lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with oregano and garlic powder.
Bake for about 10-11 minutes, or until crispy.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
1 Haas avocado
1/2 cup plain lowfat organic yogurt
2 tbsp. light sour cream
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2 scallions, white and light green part only, chopped
1 lime, juiced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place the avocado, yogurt, sour cream, jalapeno, scallions, and lime juice into a blender or small food processor.
Blend for 1 minute or until you have a smooth paste.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I had to include this picture--it's one of my recent favorites! When Norris and I first got engaged, my mom pulled her dress out of storage just to look at and play with...and she definitely still fit in it! The hat is our favorite part:)
And my parents...my dad will be celebrating the same monumental birthday later this year..better start planning! :)
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
We got this from the 101 Things to do With a Cake Mix book, which is pretty fun to look through! I love that everything is so simple and if you were invited somewhere last minute, they are so quick to throw together. We had spare time at the end, even after baking and answering questions about different things AND doing a survey for next year!
No pictures--picture this in your head: 18 teenagers waiting to eat something that smells like peanut buttery chocolatey goodness in the middle of the morning when their stomachs growl the most! They were GONE!
1 yellow cake mix (or chocolate chip cake mix)
1/3 c vegetable oil
1/2 c peanut butter (chunky preferred)
1 c chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Mix together cake mix, eggs, and oil. Mix in peanut butter. Stir in chocolate chips.
Pat the mixture into a 9x13 inch pan.
Bake 14-17 minutes, or until golden brown.
You can also see a glimpse of our fence in progess! I won't even pretend like I've been a good helper, unless you count making dinner for them to eat when they're done working... :)
Monday, April 20, 2009
If you're not feeling up to the icing, do it the "cheater" way: buy a can of regular creamy strawberry icing and whip it with your whisk attachment mixer for a few minutes until it's light and fluffy. Fill a big Ziploc with it and snip off a corner. Voila! (or, maybe that's why mine don't look so hot?:))
The recipe is originally from Williams Sonoma.
Yield: about 21 cupcakes
For the cake:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. lemon zest
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup milk
2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
(lemonade syrup optional---just adds a more pronounced lemon flavor) DO THIS!! SO GOOD! I only made about 2/3 of the amount and still had extra
For the lemonade syrup:
1 cup lemonade concentrate, thawed
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
For the frosting:
1 cup fresh strawberries, roughly chopped
12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
18 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line muffin pans with paper liners. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Stir together with a fork and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until it is light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until well combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add half of the flour mixture to the bowl and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Add in the milk and mix until smooth. Add in the remaining flour mixture and mix on low speed until just blended. Fold in the fresh strawberries with a spatula.
Divide the batter evenly between the paper liners, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake about 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once the cupcakes have cooled, whisk together the lemonade concentrate and confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl to make the lemonade syrup. Poke several holes in the top of each cupcake with a skewer and pour the syrup over the cupcakes, allowing it to soak in. (Place wax paper underneath your cooling rack so you don’t make a mess!)
To make the frosting, puree the strawberries in a food processor or blender. Strain the puree through a mesh sieve to remove the seeds, and set aside. Beat the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and very fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract and mix until incorporated. Mix in strawberry puree, a tablespoon at a time, until you achieve your desired texture and flavor of frosting (I added about 7 tablespoons of puree). Frost cupcakes as desired and garnish with fresh strawberries and lemon slices.
Source: cake adapted from Williams Sonoma, frosting from Annie’s Eats
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons gold tequila
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 Haas avocado, sliced (I didn't use)
1. Mix together all ingredients, except avocado, in a Ziploc bag. Marinate chicken in refrigerator for at least one hour. (Don't do this overnight, unless you leave the lime juice out; add lime juice in last few hours or so)
2. Preheat grill over medium high heat. Remove chicken from marinade. Discard marinade. Grill chicken 10-15 minutes or until cooked through.
3. Serve chicken topped with avocado slices.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
1 pound dough
ACTIVE TIME: 5 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 15 minutes
EASE OF PREPARATION: Moderate
To make 1 pound dough:
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 package quick-rising yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons), such as Fleischmann's RapidRise
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup hot water (120-130°F)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1. Combine whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a food processor; pulse to mix. Combine hot water and oil in a measuring cup. With the motor running, gradually pour in enough of the hot liquid until the mixture forms a sticky ball. The dough should be quite soft. If it seems dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons warm water; if too sticky, add 1 to 2 tablespoons flour. Process until the dough forms a ball, then process for 1 minute to knead.
2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Coat a sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray and place it, sprayed-side down, over the dough. Let the dough rest for 10 to 20 minutes before rolling.
3. Place a pizza stone or inverted baking sheet on the lowest oven rack;preheat oven to 500°F or highest setting. Roll and top the pizza as desired(we suggest a 13-inch circle) and bake the pizza until the bottom is crispand golden, 10 to 14 minutes. Serve immediately.
NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per 12 ounces: 766 calories; 12 g fat (2 g sat, 8 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 142 g carbohydrate; 26 g protein; 16 g fiber; 1,882 mg sodium.Per 1 pound: 1,032 calories; 18 g fat (3 g sat, 12 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 189 g carbohydrate; 33 g protein; 21 g fiber; 2,509 mg sodium.
MAKE AHEAD TIP: Store in a plastic bag coated with cooking spray in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before using.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
from Delicious Meliscious
8 oz of whatever greens you like
1 Granny Smith Apple, chopped
1/3 c. Cashews, toasted
1/4 c. Golden Raisins
2 T Sugar
2 T Apple Cider Vinegar
2 T Vegetable Oil (I used olive oil)
1/8 t. Garlic Salt
1/8 tsp. Celery Salt
Directions:Combine the first 4 ingredients in a large salad bowl. Whisk together sugar and next 4 ingredients, until blended. Serve with salad. You can chill the dressing for up to 1 day. Whisk well before serving.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Spiced Lentil Tacos
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried brown lentils, rinsed
1 package (2.25 oz) taco seasoning
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth (used beef broth instead)
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
8 taco shells
1 1/4 cups shredded lettuce
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat (2 percent) cheddar
1 T Mexican seasoning (or chili powder, cumin, ground red pepper, whatever you have)
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook garlic and salt for 2 minutes, or until garlic is releasing fragrance. Add lentils and taco seasoning. Cook until spices are fragrant and lentils are dry, about 1 minute. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Mix sour cream and Mexican seasonings in a bowl. Uncover lentils and cook until mixture thickens, 6 to 8 minutes. Mash with a rubber spatula. Spoon 1/4 cup lentil mixture into each taco shell. Top with 2 heaping tsp sour cream mixture, lettuce, tomato and cheese.
249 calories per 2 tacos, 7.1 g fat (1.9 g saturated), 37.1 g carbs, 9.7 g fiber, 11.5 g protein
Monday, April 13, 2009
The wedding was held at a really nice winery, with a cocktail hour after the ceremony, then the reception back inside. The centerpieces were so pretty and she did a great job planning it all. We had such a good time all weekend. We wound up going to a place called the Glass Cactus (click on link to look at the pictures, click on photos at the top--it has an awesome outdoor deck!) two nights in a row because we had so much fun the first night. It reminded me more of Vegas than any other place I've been outside of Vegas.
Anyway, back to "real life", although it was great to get away for a weekend, and for a great reason to celebrate!
Sunday, April 12, 2009
1 lb of flank steak or skirt steak
Juice of 1 lime
Source: Simply Recipes
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Tonight's meal was definitely not planned, and it wound up being one of my favorites I've had in a while. I wanted to use up a few things before we left, so I made onion turkey burgers, fruit salad, and sweet potato fries. Really simple, not many dishes to clean, and really filling. I am still not sure how much the boys liked it (Norris doesn't really like onions, but he okay'ed the soup mix in the burger), but I loved it and will definitely make it again!
1 packet dry onion soup mix
Combine well with hands and form into patties. If you have time, refrigerate before you grill them (could make them the night before) to let flavors combine.
Served on no sugar added whole wheat buns (Nature's Own--didn't even know they existed!) with a half wedge of Laughing Cow spread on the bun and broiled.
A tip for sweet potato fries:
After cutting into fries, soak in ice water for 20 minutes or so. This gives them a better crunchier outside, like a regular potato would. Drain and dry with paper towel. Toss in a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper (some people like brown sugar here too). Cook at 450 for 25 minutes, flipping halfway.
Tonight is the first soccer game I am going to this season, and I am SO excited to get back in it, even if I am just watching!
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
In a medium bowl, mix sugar and margarine until smooth. Stir in egg white, sour cream, lemon juice, extract, lemon zest, and poppy seed. Add flour and mix until a batter forms, about 10 strokes with a wooden spoon. Don’t over mix, otherwise your muffins will be tough.
Fill muffin tins three-fourths full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until muffins spring back to the touch. Cool completely before storing in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.
4 cups green beans, trimmed (about 12 ounces)
1. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Put green beans in a steamer basket, place in the pan, cover and steam until tender-crisp, 4 to 6 minutes.
1/2 t salt, optional
and I present my rigged steamer...I was thinking about buying a steamer basket, but thought it would take up a lot of space. This colander fits right down into my stockpot and a little saucepan lid fit tightly over the beans! So, if you don't have a steamer, give it a try! I'm still considering buying one so I can put more food into it to steam...we'll see...
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Brown ground beef, drain fat, and prepare according to taco seasoning directions.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
1 3/8 cup flour
1 T cinnamon
3/4 c butter
1 c sugar
4 c whipping cream
1/4 c powdered sugar
1 T vanilla
1/2 c chocolate curls
2. Let dough rest 15 minutes.
3. While dough is resting, grease as many 9” layer cake pans as you have. (or line with parchment paper) and preheat oven to 375 F.
4. After 15 minutes, divide dough into 7 portions and pat one portion at a time into cake pan. It will be very thin but this is what makes your layers.
5. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until it starts to brown on the edges. Turn out of the pan and do it again until all layers are made.
6. At this point you can wrap and store these cookie layers until you are ready to use them, or go on with the assembly of the torte.
7. Whip the cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar together until stiff.
8. Set 3/4 c of cream mixture aside for the decorating the top of the torte.
9. Place a small amount of cream on the bottom of the cake plate to anchor your cake. Place your first cookie on it. Spread with cream and continue layering until all cookies and cream are gone.
10. Put the remaining whipped cream into a piping bag and do 8 rosettes on top.
11. Sprinkle with chocolate curls.
12. Refrigerate 4 hours to overnight before serving.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
This means that I have a huge responsibility to be a good example for them. They need someone who can relate to them and also be a role model. Someone who can communicate and act like a professional. I try to do this every day, and can only hope I am doing my job of that. This job often seems to be even more important than teaching content. Only when both of those things are happening can you have a successful classroom.
I saw this article and am pretty amazed with this seemingly humble man who also happens to be in charge of the Kansas City Royals. This story is a really cool one--click the link to read. It's kind of a lenghty article, but a great read about someone who is in a position where he could be a role model of how to greedily live it up with the money he has or someone who can continue to stick to what they believe in and be a good example for so many people.
**(If you haven't figured out yet, the link is in the words "this article". I normally put my links within the sentence, normally on the word "this". With my color scheme on here, it's kind of difficult to tell. Wave your cursor over "this article" and it will turn purple! Click there:)
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
I really can't ever believe how simple they are, ingredient wise. She has experimented with the merits of water versus milk, and says water works just as great. In the last few years, she has started to use a mixer after combining the final ingredients, and showed us how much of a difference this makes in the "puff" part of the cream puff. Try your hand at these!
(Ours of course are not as perfect as hers, but our attempt:)
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
4 eggs, room temperature
1 cup all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Bring water and butter to a rolling boil.
Stir in the flour all at the same time. Keep stirring over low heat until it comes together in a ball (pulls away from the sides), about 1 minute.
Remove pan from heat and immediately put dough in mixer bowl.
Using a mixer, beat in eggs one at a time (don't want to scramble the eggs!!).
Beat mixture until it is smooth and velvety.
Drop from a spoon onto greased baking sheet, about three inches apart.
Bake until cream puffs are dry. Thump them on the bottom to see--they should sound like dense bread when you thump. Bake time for small puffs: 25 to 35 minutes; large puffs: 35 to 40 minutes
Remove puffs from oven and allow them to cool.
When puffs are cooled, cut off tops with a sharp knife. Remove the inner filament (the doughy strands). Fill with pudding or filling of your choice.
Replace tops, dust with confectioner's sugar, and serve! (best cold)
Makes 20 small puffs; 8 large puffs
She also reminded us how many possibilities there are with these...fill with chicken salad; add a little sugar when you add the flour and make a sweeter version; some people even put mashed potatoes, peas, and cheese in them!! (blech!!)
But these are totally meant to be filled with some sugar free lemon pudding (yes, it does exist!) and topped with some powdered sugar....or filled with some SF french vanilla pudding and topped with powdered sugar and chocolate sauce. YUM!!
Thanks again to G & G for coming to teach us the art of the puff!