Sunday, September 25, 2011

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Cool Time: 1+ hours

Grade: A

Make Again: Yes

Recipe Source: Everyday Food (September 2011)

I really liked these. I hadn't been in love with America's Test Kitchen version, but that may have been because of the low sugar jam I used. This recipe was slightly different. It doesn't have any peanut butter in the recipe, but it added peanut butter chips to the topping. It also had chopped peanuts, which I didn't mind at all. I used a strawberry preserve for the jelly and it was all very good.

I froze them after baking, and so far I've had one, and it was still good. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Harvest Vegetable Pancake with Salad

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Grade: B

Make Again: maybe

Recipe Source: Everyday Food (September 2011)
(no recipe at link yet, but ingredients listed below)

This is supposed to be pancake made from Beets and Carrots (along with some chickpeas and potato). It is also supposed to be purple. I thought it would be good recipe for me to try beets for the first time since it includes a lot of other ingredients I do like.

When I went to go buy the beets, I was frightened by the thick looking dirty skin and shapes, so I didn't buy any. It seemed like they would be hard to peel. I don't know if they were good ones or bad. So, I decided to just try the recipe without them.

That wasn't a bad decision, but I used almost half the salt, because I thought a lot of the volume would have come from the beets. That was a bad decision. The pancake needed more salt. I also tried to get away with only 1/2 T of oil on the pan, and that made it harder to flip. The taste was decent, but it probably would have been much better if I had used the proper amounts of oil and salt. The salad and goat cheese on top was good. I am toying with the idea of making this again, but mixing in some goat cheese instead of putting it on the top.

3 beets, shredded
3 carrots, shredded
1 russet potato, cooked, diced
1 can chickpeas, chopped
1/2 c. flour
1 t. salt

Mix together and heat in pan coated with 1 T olive oil over medium heat for 10 minutes until crispy on bottom. Use plate to help you flip pancake over. Cook other side 10-12 minutes.

Top with Mesclun mix, dressing and some crumbled goat cheese.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Spaghetti Fritatta

Total Time: 25 minutes

Grade: A

Make Again: Yes
Recipe Source: Everyday Food (September 2004)

This recipe was inspired by the EF Sept 2004 Cooking for One article. The actual recipe called for Jarlsberg cheese and peas, but I used up what I had on hand, and it was delicious. I also used Healthy Harvest Spaghetti which I liked in there. I didn't have leftover pasta, which is the idea for this recipe, but it cooked while I prepped and cooked the spinach so the timing was fine.

I will definitely make this again. It is nice to have one serving only and I like the added carbs to eggs from the spaghetti. It makes it more substantial and filling. 

Spaghetti Fritatta
  • 2oz spaghetti cooked
  • 3 oz baby spinach, chopped
  • 1-2T minced onion
  • 1 t. olive oil
  • 2 T shredded cheese (I used Pepper Jack) 
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T milk
  • salt and pepper
  1. Turn on broiler to high. 
  2. Start your water boiling for the pasta if you don't have leftovers. I broke pasta in half so I could cook in a smaller pan and heat up less water to save time.
  3. Heat oil in an 8" ovensafe skillet and saute onions for a few minutes. 
  4. Add spinach and saute until wilted and moisture dries up a bit. You may need to add it in batches because of lack of room.
  5. Wish eggs and milk in a medium bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add grated cheese. Add pasta and stir to combine. 
  6. When spinach is cooked, add egg mixture to pan, and stir well to combine. Cook for 5-7 minutes until eggs start to set, but are still runny on top.
  7. Put pan in broiler and broil up to 4 minutes till eggs are cooked through. 
Serves 1. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Old Favorites - Everyday Food (September 2004, 2005, 2006)

Reviewing my Old Favorites from EF last week inspired me to cook more even though I was quite busy, so I'm doing it again this week. Not sure how long I'll keep this up, but for now I'm continuing.

Recipes to try still:

I hope to try the ones on this list above soon. At least most of them.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ground Beef Pie

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes

Grade: A

Make Again: Probably Not

Recipe Source: Everyday Food (September 2003)

I've wanted to try this recipe for 8 years, but since phyllo is not something I keep in the freezer (although maybe I should) I just never made it and then forgot about it.

I really liked this recipe, it was quick and easy to make and tasted great. I was slightly concerned that I wouldn't like the cinnamon with the beef, but it was good. They phyllo crust was delicious.  Also, I made it the night before allowing me to have an effortless dinner. Finally, it was something a little bit different and unique which I like.

So why wouldn't I make it again? The BF was horrified by this meal. He can be very picky and sometimes I feel like I am feeding a child when I cook for both of us. What bothered him is hard to say. He said it was runny. It wasn't. I assume he was looking at the slightly moist part at the top of the pie (you can see it in the picture) and thought it was uncooked eggs. They were completely cooked, but he couldn't get past it. He really didn't taste it. He is more bothered by textures than anything else and when I cook new things he is always looking for the cooked onions to pick out. This may explain why I haven't been cooking as much since we met :-) (I am going to keep him, because otherwise he is mature and normal.)

Despite all of that, this is a really good recipe. It is a simplification of a Greek recipe which is typical thing to find in Everyday Food. There Prep time was 35 minutes, but mine was only 25. Instead of brushing the olive oil on the phyllo I use Olive Oil spray. I think this was my time saver. It worked very well. It is probably more expensive this way, but worth it.

I did freeze my leftovers, and I'll see how they are. If good, I may make this again, but otherwise this isn't a recipe I would make for myself only.

NOTE: There is a video on the recipe link. I always like watching videos before I make the recipe.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Mini Mocha Cheesecakes

Prep Time: 13 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Cool Time: 2+ hours
Grade: A

Make Again: Yes

Recipe Source: Everyday Food (January 2011)

This recipe (link above) uses cottage cheese instead of cream cheese. It called for non-fat, but I like to eat 2% which only has 10 more calories and a few grams of fat per serving, so I went with that instead. Otherwise the only fat comes from the egg. (Although I also use Penzey's cocoa, which has a little too.)

The batter was more runny than the pictures showed in the magazine. I made a half recipe and filled 5 cups (original full recipe should make 9 cups). I stilled had some of the batter left over.

These were really good. It didn't taste exactly the same as a cream cheese cheesecake, but the tangy taste was there and I liked it.

I don't like coffee, so I cut the amount of espresso powder in half (but didn't eliminate) to make the chocolate taste better without the mocha taste. That always works well for me.

The neatest part of the recipe is that you make these in muffin tins with muffin papers. You don't have to grease any pans and they are easy to get out. The other great part of this recipe is that you use Chocolate Wafers for the crust. You fill the cup with the batter then place a cookie on top. The Famous Chocolate wafers fit perfectly if you your cups are filled to 1/4 of the top.  There is the issue of only using a few of these wafers for this recipe and they are fairly expensive and not found at all my local grocery stores. However, I froze the extra cookies, and hopefully I can find another use for them.

All in all, I think this is a very clever recipe and it is pretty light. Part of that comes from the petite sizing which is easy since they are single serving cakes. I also like that these have a decent amount of protein which fills me up more than sugar, certainly. I will definitely make these again.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Old Favorites - Everyday Food (September 2003)

I really need to get in the habit of cooking again, even when I am super busy. I find I actually eat less when I am cooking good food, because it satisfies me more. To help me get back into the mood, I'm looking at my old Everyday Food magazines for the current month (September) and reminding myself of the old recipes that I used to love and haven't cooked in a while. Many of them I've already added to the blog, but a few I haven't.

I was planning on looking at all 4 previous September Issues that I own, but just looking at year 2003 had quite a few recipes I want to use again, so I'll just do one issue at a time.

Here are some of my old Favorites. I'm linking to my blog post (if available), but you can get to the actual recipes on the Recipe source link. If I didn't blog it, I'm liking to the original recipe.

I also found a few recipes that I always meant to try but haven't yet:
I don't really need to focus on desserts right now when I'm so busy and want to eat a little healthier, but I hope to try all the other recipes this month. 

I hope to get back to Cook's Illustrated Recipes when I have more time, but this should get me motivated to get cooking again.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Spicy Tuna Melt

Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes


Make Again: Yes
  Recipe Source: Everyday Food (September 2011)

(I cut recipe in half and modified slightly. I can't find the original online yet.) 

Mix:   5/6oz can tuna with 1/3 c. salsa and 2T light mayo and salt and pepper. Spread on baguette that is sliced in half lengthwise. (May only need half of baguette, depending on the size.) Sprinkle 1-2oz of shredded pepper jack cheese. Broil for 5 minutes (not too close to broiler, so it won't burn in that time.)

This one isn't so much a recipe, as a good idea for a quick meal. This is what I like about Everyday Food. It has simple recipes that encourage you to try combinations you haven't tried before like Salsa and Tuna.

Very good for a quick lunch.