Thursday, December 12, 2013

chipotle butternut squash soup

okay. it's ridiculously obnoxious to peel a squash. but, i promise you the rest of this recipe is a breeze. and quite tasty. here is a how-to picture tutorial on cutting a butternut squash.
this recipe calls for chipotle powder. do know it's quite different then chili powder. chipotle powder is made from smoke-dried jalapeƱos. chili powder is made from chilies. it's a distinctly different smoky flavor and packs a ton of heat. use it sparingly.

chipotle butternut squash soup
1 butternut squash (2- 2.5 lbs), peeled and cut in 2 in cubes
2 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
2 medium sized apples, peeled and cut in 2 in cubes
1/8 c olive oil
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp chipotle powder
4 c chicken or vegetable broth

1. preheat your oven to 400°.
2. combine squash, onion and apples in a bowl. toss with remaining ingredients (except for the broth) and spread on a foil lined baking pan. bake for 45 minutes.
3. pour broth into a stock pot. add squash, onion and apples. bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
4. combine broth and squash mixture in a food processor. (do this in batches or you'll be wearing it)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

candy bar caramel apples

happy to report these are amazing. so amazing, that i may have eaten a whole apple by myself in one day.
making your own caramel is surprisingly simple. Use a candy thermometer taking the guess out of determining the appropriate consistency. i used chopsticks instead of popsicle sticks, but either will do. 
my candy bars included twix, snickers, reese's peanut butter cups and butterfingers. just run a knife through them and put them in separate bowls.

candy bar caramel apples
6 large granny smith apples
2 c light brown sugar
2/3 c dark karo syrup
1/4 c butter
1 tsp sea salt
candy bars of your choice, chopped

1. stick chopsticks through the apple core and push down a few inches. prep a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. combine brown sugar, karo syrup, butter and salt in a sauce pan. bring to a low boil at medium- high heat stirring vigorously. simmer for 10-12 minutes or until your thermometer reads 215°. at this point the sugar will be melted and the caramel will be formed. 
3. pour caramel in a deep bowl. dip apples in caramel and hold upside down slowly turning the apple sideways allowing the caramel to adhere and harden. (a good 30 seconds). Dip in one of the candy bar bowls pressing candy bar pieces onto the lower third of the apple. 
4. repeat with all apples. store in the fridge, but be sure to take out an hour before eating so your candy isn't too hard.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

strawberry lemonade popsicles

i have no idea how i came across this blog but it's pretty fantastic. she does frequent product promotion and recently featured the zipzicle- a bpa- free, zip-sealed popsicle mold. blew. my. mind. better yet, they're cheap! 
i've tricked my kid into thinking anything frozen in the shape of a popsicle is a treat- even if it's a greek yogurt tube or in this case, pureed fruit. so happy treat-tricking the last few days of summer!

strawberry lemonade popsicles
2 c strawberries, hulled
1 tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 c lemonade
8 zipzicle bags

1. puree strawberries and lemon zest in a food processor or blender.
2. combine strawberry puree with lemonade and pour into zipzicle bags using a funnel or kitchen baster.
3. place in an upright container and freeze.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

homemade basil pesto... revisited

who has time to cook? well, this is what i've been up to lately.

not vivi's best picture but let's be real- getting a two year old and a (then) one month old to pose for a picture is just not gonna happen. in fact, getting my two year old to even hold vivi takes serious bribing.
i digress. since there hasn't been a whole lot of new recipe creation going on in my kitchen we've relied on our old standbys. homemade pesto is always in our dinner rotation. an overwhelming sense of embarrassment comes over me every time i look at my first few posts, pesto included.  My photography skills were just short of horrific. in making this last round of pesto i replaced my sad iphone picture. being gardening season i felt it appropriate to re-share this deliciousness with you. growing your own basil? find some great tips here.
pesto freezes nicely. simply pour into ice cube trays and toss in the freezer. once frozen, place "cubes" in a freezer-friendly plastic bag. to defrost the cubes, run the bag under cold water. you can toss with pasta, add to a sandwich or add a dollop to the top of a grilled chicken breast. the possibilities are truly endless. happy summer.

3 c fresh basil, (2 oz)
3 tbl walnuts
3 tbl grated parmesan
2 garlic cloves
1 tbl lemon juice
salt & pepper
1/4 c olive oil

1. combine first seven ingredients in food processor streaming olive oil in slowly.
2. that's seriously it... seriously.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

homemade granola

ganola and yogurt parfaits are on the top of the cravings list these days. oooooo and trail mix too! weird, i know.
this is a super simple not-so sweet homemade granola that you can layer with yogurt and fresh berries for the perfect breakfast. when baking be sure to stir the granola every ten minutes so all sides get equal toasty time. everybody's ovens are different so bake time is really dependent on color. you want to bake it until it gets golden brown. it will seem soft and not quite done, but will crisp up even more after you take it out of the oven and let cool. my lower oven rack seemed to toast those suckers a bit more than the top so be conscious of that as well.

homemade granola
4 c oats
1 c shredded coconut
3/4 c dried cranberries
3/4 c almonds, chopped
1/2 c walnuts, chopped
1/2 c honey
1/2 c canola oil
1/4 c brown sugar
1 tbs vanilla

1. combine oats, coconut, cranberries, almonds and walnuts in a bowl.
2. combine honey, canola oil, brown sugar and vanilla. pour over dry ingredients and stir until coated well.
3. spread granola over two baking sheets. bake at 325 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown stirring every ten minutes.
4. layer fresh berries, yogurt and granola in a glass and devour.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

turkey sausage & quinoa stuffed peppers

seems this random grain quinoa popped up out of nowhere. i've been playing around with it for months knowing its' healthy reputation, however, found it to be extremely bitter on its own. i knew it needed some flavorful cast members.
for those that aren't familiar, quinoa is a grain usually being substituted for rice in various dishes.

turkey sausage & quinoa stuffed peppers
1 lb turkey sausage
3/4 c cooked quinoa
2 tbl olive oil
1/4 c red pepper, minced
1 zucchini, minced
1 tbl tomato paste
3 green peppers sliced in half and de-seeded

1. cook quinoa according to package using chicken broth in instead of water. set aside and cool.
2. saute red pepper and zucchini in olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes. add salt & pepper to taste. set aside and cool.
3. combine turkey sausage, quinoa, vegetables and tomato paste in a bowl.
4. place halved green peppers in a casserole dish and stuff with turkey sausage mixture. cover pan with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 65 minutes.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

baked cinnamon apple french toast

i'm hoping you're as behind as i am and have yet to plan your menu for christmas morning brunch?
this recipe looks beautiful and presents as a whole lotta work. you'll be thankful to know that the most time consuming part is peeling the apples. it's a breeze to whip together and guarantees a sweet treat everyone will love.

baked cinnamon apple french toast
18 pieces of french bread, sliced in 1 in. slices
1 c milk
6 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbl sugar

cinnamon apple topping
5 apples, cored, thinly sliced and peeled
1 c lite karo syrup
1 c brown sugar
1 tbl cinnamon

1. arrange bread slices in a 9 x 13 baking dish overlapping slices.
2. whisk together milk, eggs, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tbl sugar. pour over french bread. cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
3. prepare cinnamon apple topping by combining all ingredients in a saucepan. bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes allowing liquid to thicken. cool and refrigerate overnight.
4. preheat oven to 350 degrees. pour cinnamon apple topping over french bread and bake uncovered for 45 minutes.