Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Vegetarian Southwest Egg Rolls

This was my first time making egg rolls of any sort, and well not too shabby!


My sister came to visit for the weekend which gave me a great reason to try out a new recipe! The hubby decided to make his newest creation, Sesame Orange Shrimp/Chicken, and I thought what better to go with it than egg rolls. Little did I think that umm hey these are Southwestern egg rolls, not chinese! Oh well, I had already made the grocery list!

I had a bit trouble finding egg roll wrappers, for those that don't know, these will be in the refrigerated section! I found mine at Kroger in the organic refrigerated section. I really liked this recipe, mostly because you only need one bowl and maybe 15 minutes + cooking time.


Annie's Eats Southwestern Egg Rolls

2 cups frozen corn (be sure to thaw in advance)
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach (thaw and squeeze as much water out)
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
4 oz. can green chiles, drained
2 cups shredded cheese
4 green onions, diced
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 package egg roll wrappers

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray. In large bowl mix all ingredients except for egg roll wrappers. Have a small bowl of water available for sealing egg roll. Lay out wrapper with a corner pointing towards you and spoon about 1/4 cup in the center. Fold the tip closest to you over the stuffing and roll slightly, then fold in sides of wrapper. Dip you finger in water and brush on the edges of the opposite corner and finish rolling the egg roll. Lightly press edges to seal and place seal side down on the baking sheet. Repeat with rest of wrappers and stuffing. Lightly spray tops of egg rolls with cooking spray and bake for 15 minutes, flipping half-way through. Egg rolls should be slightly brown and its definitely OK if there is some leakage, no one is perfect!


There were a few changes I think I will make next time, there was a little too much spinach and I would enjoy some avocado in there instead. I am not a vegetarian but these felt healthy eating them, I would like to try with some shredded chicken as well. Let me know if you try any of these variations! I served it with a side of black bean and corn salsa and sour cream which I think paired well.

Anyone have a good recipe for baked chinese egg rolls?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Homemade Peanut Butter Ice Cream

I realize the other day that I make a LOT of peanut butter recipes, maybe I should have called this blog Peanut Butter Bakes!

Well recently I had my wisdom teeth removed and guess what that means...lots of ice cream!


I have made this ice cream recipe before and unfortunately this time I couldn't add any peanut butter cups, but for this is one of the creamiest ice creams I have ever had, so it was still yummy!


Cuisinart Peanut Butter Ice Cream

1 and 1/8 cup creamy peanut butter (not natural, because of the oil separation)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 and 1/4 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Leave ice cream bowl in freezer for at least 8 hours to ensure it is cold enough.


Mix together the peanut butter and sugar until smooth. Add milk and mix until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Stir in the heavy whipping cream and vanilla. Place the freezer bowl into the machine and turn on, pour the mixture into the freezer bowl. Let it churn for about 25 minutes until it has thickened. If you are adding any toppings mix in 5 minutes before it is done to allow it to mix throughout the ice cream. Serve in cute little ice cream bowls!



I think that homemade ice cream is best freshly made, so serve immediately for best results.



Now I just need to find the perfect Hot Fudge sauce! Any recommendations?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Peanut Butter Cookie Cups



Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Since the holiday turned up on a weekday, during a busy work week, I decided to go simple with the baked goods for the holiday. I made one of my favorite recipes, the first I wrote myself, and also my first win in a baking contest! I warn you in advance these are highly addictive to anyone that enjoys some good peanut butter cookies.



Peanut Butter Cookie Cups

1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
2 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 + 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
36 miniature peanut butter cups
decorative icing and sprinkles



Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove wrappers from peanut butter cups and stick in fridge, I like to do this so they don't melt as quickly later. Beat shortening and peanut butter, add sugars and beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk, and vanilla till throughly mixed. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt.


Form dough into 36 1-inch balls and place into mini-cupcake pans. Make a small thumbprint into center of dough and bake for 9-11 minutes. Immediately press in miniature peanut butter cups and cool for 10 minutes in pans. Remove, with assistance of a spatula, and cool completely on cooling rack or until chocolate hardens. Top with icing, sprinkles, or just leave them bare!


I used some leftover Wilton Buttercream, added some green coloring (Wilton's "Leaf Green"), and some greens sprinkles. I decided too late on what to make and unfortunately didn't get around to buying any cute clover sprinkles.


For dinner, I made some Irish Shepherd's Pie and will definitely post that soon!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Homemade Pizza Crust

Last week I had my wisdom teeth removed, so in deciding one of my "last meals" I wanted to make my favorite, PIZZA!


I had been eyeing Ashlee's whole-wheat pizza crust, she has tried multiple variations and I think its about time I try it myself. It was pretty easy, except umm I forgot the Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) and it still turned out awesome!


Ashlee's Whole Wheat Crust

1 packet of fast acting yeast
1 tbsp. of honey
3/4 cup warm water
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (I used bleached)
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a stand mixer using the mixing paddle mix honey, water, and yeast packet. Let sit for 10 minutes. Using dough hook add flours, salt, and Extra Virigin Olive Oil and knead for 10 minutes. Then place dough in warm location, covered with a damp towel and let rise for 1 hour or until double in size. Next, roll out dough onto pizza pan and top with sauce/cheese/toppings. Bake for ~20 minutes or until slightly brown and cheese is melted. 


I added some store-bought sauce, gulp, turkey sausage that I had crisped in the oven, fresh thinly-sliced mozzarella, and some freshly shredded cheddar. You might be curious about the different cheeses, but the husband loves fresh mozzarella and I love a really good cheddar! YUMMM!


What are your favorite pizza toppings?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

S'mores Brownies and more

One of my favorite flavor combos are toasted marshmallow, graham crackers, and melted chocolate. My dad and I used to go camping a lot as a kid and sitting around the campfire making S'mores was my favorite part!



The second I saw this recipe I knew I had to make them. Joy the Baker's recipe for S'mores Brownies seemed so easy, the potential for yumminess was just around the corner. 


I decided to alter the recipe a bit and ended up using my Cocoa Brownie recipe from my Ghirardelli cookbook and added in the graham crackers and topped them off with 12 large marshmallows. 

Ghirardelli Classic Chocolate Brownies (with S'mores)

4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate baking bar, chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup graham crackers, crushed
12 large marshmallows

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Butter and flour 13 x 9 baking pan. In a double broiler, melt chocolate baking bar pieces and butter, stir until smooth. Remove and let cool to room temperature. Stir brown sugar and vanilla into the chocolate mix, add eggs and mix well. In separate bowl sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly fold the flour mix into the chocolate mix until blended, then add chocolate chips and graham crackers. Pour batter into baking pan and top with marshmallows. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until marshmallows are slightly browned (they will be puffy, but will eventually deflate). Let cool for 10 minutes on rack, then eat!


Well, they were kind of a dud and looked like cooked eggs on top of some thin brownies. The marshmallow tasted great, but you couldn't taste the graham cracker too much and the brownies were dry and crumbly. Not my best, but we learn from everything. So instead I have decided to post my S'mores dreams! 

The ultimate ice cream flavor ever, Ben and Jerry's "S'mores" or more favorably known as Marsha Marsha Marshmallow.


My dream cupcake, which is made by Jennifer Shea at Trophy Cupcakes in Seattle, just look at that toasted marshmallow on top! She made these cupcakes on the Martha Stewart show, so luckily you can watch the video and find the recipe online!

 
For those of looking for S'mores to share, Annie's Eats make a fabulous looking S'mores cake.

 
Have any other S'mores recipes??

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mini Quiches

Upon request from my husband, I either had a choice between making souffle or quiche. I have made him souffle before, so this time I decided to take on some mini quiche (and I was secretly hoping they were a bit easier). 


I had found this recipe on my Google Reader from A Year in the Kitchen blog and decided to try it out, with a few edits. 



I decided to go buy pre-made pie crust as I had been having shoulder troubles and didn't want to be kneading and rolling dough all afternoon. I found that onPillsbury 9-inch crust made 24 mini quiche shells using one of my Ateco biscuit cutters. I also swapped out bacon for turkey bacon to make it a little healthier and used Extra Sharp White Cheddar instead of Gruyere. My reasoning being that Gruyere is expensive and I have found that Kroger brand Cheddar is actually made by Cabot!


Mini Quiche Lorraine

1 pie crust 
4 large eggs
6 strips of turkey bacon
1 1/2 cups finely grated Extra Sharp Cheddar
1/2 tsp. dried Thyme
Dash of Salt and Pepper
2 tbsp. skim milk 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Dice bacon, saute' in a skillet until crisp, drain on a paper towel. Butter and flour a mini muffin tin (24). Roll out pie crust to a about 1/4 inch thick and use a round cutter to cut 24 rounds. Place on the muffin tin, gently press down and form into cups. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper and thyme. Add cheese and bacon, stir together. This mixture should be thick. Use a tablespoon to spoon mixture into muffin cups, fill to the top. Bake for 18 minutes, or until puffy and golden.

Verdict: I think there was a little too much bacon and thyme. Otherwise the crust was a perfect thickness compared with the filling and they were nice, warm, and puffy!
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