Thursday, July 30, 2009

Eat your oats

I'm excited to have another great breakfast dish. I loved topping my baked oatmeal with fresh blueberries. The nice thing about this dish is that it's incredibly versatile. Tweak it to your liking. The recipe came from my cousin's food blog, Table for 7.

THE RECIPE:

2 c. oats (either old-fashioned or quick)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
Cinnamon to taste
1 1/2 c. milk
1 egg
2 Tbsp. melted butter
1/2 c. mashed banana or unsweetened applesauce (I used banana)

Preheat oven to 350. Combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately, then mix together. Bake for 20 minutes. (I actually had to cook mine for 35 minutes.) Serve with milk and your choice of fruit.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tangy tilapia

This recipe for tilapia with roasted corn came to me by way of my sister-in-law Jennifer, who I think found it online. We loved this recipe, and my favorite part was how extremely easy it was to put together. The lime juice really makes this dish.

THE RECIPE:

4-6 tilapia fillets, completely thawed
1/3 c. mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. corn (frozen or canned)
Juice of one lime (about 3 Tbsp.)

Preheat broiler on high. Mix mayo, chili and onion powders, and salt. Spray pan or baking sheet with cooking spray. Place tilapia fillets in pan, then spread mayo mixture over all. Top with corn. (No need to thaw frozen corn. Drain canned corn.) Broil for 10 minutes on middle oven rack, or until fish flakes easily and corn is browned. Squeeze lime juice evenly over all.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A spoonful of pesto

Ah, pesto. It's beautiful, isn't it? We make it fresh, using basil from our garden. Its smell is beyond wonderful, and its taste is even better. We can't get enough of it.

THE RECIPE:
2 1/2 c. packed basil leaves
1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. pine nuts (or a couple of tablespoons)
3/4 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 1/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese

Mix all ingredients in food processor. Store in air-tight container in refrigerator or put in freezer bags and freeze.
To make bruschetta, spread pesto on a slice of French bread, top with tomato slices and cheese, then toast under the broiler. It's divine!

We used a bunch of our freshly made pesto to make creamy pesto pasta. It was so delicious, I wanted to eat it until I exploded.

THE RECIPE:

8 oz. pasta, cooked and drained*
2 chicken breasts, seasoned with lemon pepper, cooked and chopped
1 c. prepared pesto
3/4 c. mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 c. frozen peas, thawed
1/3 c. pine nuts, toasted under broiler (watch them closely)

Toss ingredients in a large bowl while chicken and noodles are still hot. Enjoy!

*I used elbow pasta, but I think something like bowtie would look nicer -- not that it matters for taste.

PESTO ROCKS!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Add some zest to your life

This lemon cake is fabulous. It got some rave reviews last week when I made it for a family get-together in California. My brother-in-law even said he'd like me to make it for his birthday and mail it to him. I'm sure it would look quite appealing after that. Anyway, you've got to try it. It's a great summertime dessert. It's moist and tangy, and the frosting is divine. The whole thing tastes like lemonade. Once again, I adapted the recipe from one at My Kitchen Cafe.

THE RECIPE:

Cake:

1 box lemon cake mix
1 small box instant lemon pudding
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. lemon juice
3/4 c. oil (I used canola)
4 eggs

Mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour into greased pan/pans. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. You don't want to overbake or the cake will be dry. Just watch it, and as soon as a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean, you're good to go. Cool completely before frosting.

Frosting:

1 c. butter, softened
6-8 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon zest

Beat 4 c. powdered sugar into butter. Add juice and zest, then mix until creamy. Add powdered sugar until you reach desired stiffness. It is fabulous with a light, whipped texture, but you need it to be stiff if you are frosting a layer cake or else the top layer will slide off. Garnish as desired. Serve either at room temperature or chilled.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Scone me


Psst. Psst. If you're reading this just as it's posting, you're up too early. But that means that you still have time to wake up your family — the late risers — with the smell of freshly fried scones.

I wanted to surprise Marie with a tasty breakfast on Mother's Day, so this is what she got — fried dough with delicious cinnamon honey butter.

I stole borrowed this recipe from Taste and Tell, a blog I stumbled upon. You get a story with every recipe.

Our story is simple: We loved, loved, loved these scones. Simple, a little time-consuming, but totally worth waiting for.


THE RECIPE:

2 pkg. dry yeast
1/2 c. water
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. boiling water
1/2 c. butter
2 tsp. salt
3 eggs, beaten
5 c. flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, pour the boiling water over the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, the butter and the salt. Add eggs and mix well. Add yeast mixture and 2 cups of flour. Beat with mixer until smooth. Add the remaining flour and mix in. Let rise for one hour and then refrigerate 30 minutes.

On a floured surface, roll out the dough about 1/4 inch and cut into 3-inch squares. Fry in hot oil until brown, then flip and fry until both sides are browned and puffy.

Serve with butter and honey, jam, coated with granulated sugar, or make your own cinnamon honey butter while you wait for the dough to chill.

Cinnamon honey butter:

1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. honey
1 tsp. cinnamon

Combine all ingredients and whip with a mixer until light and fluffy. Try not to eat it all before the scones are ready.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Banana-rama

This banana bread is wonderful. I liked it the best out of three different recipes I tried in the past three weeks. See, I got a ton of bananas when they were on sale for 25 cents a pound. No one's complaining around here, though. Banana bread is a hit at our house. I got this recipe from My Kitchen Cafe. The sour cream makes it very moist and delicious.

THE RECIPE:

1 c. sugar
1/2 c. oil (I used canola)
2 eggs
1 c. mashed banana (about 3 bananas)
1/2 c. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour (I used whole wheat for half)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together sugar and oil. Add eggs, bananas, sour cream and vanilla. Mix well. Add flour, baking soda and salt. Stir just until moistened. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.