Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Spicy Chicken Burgers

I don't like chicken wings, and never used to like anything spicy, so I always stayed away from Buffalo this or that. That was then.

Thank god my taste buds grew up :) I had seen Dani make buffalo meatballs awhile back, and after unearthing some ground chicken from the depths of my freezer I knew just what I wanted to do with it!

Buffalo Chix Burgers

I followed her recipe, cut in half for my 1/2lb of ground chicken. The only thing I did differently was to form it into two burgers instead of meatballs and grill it up! I still don't like blue cheese all that much, so I skipped the dressing and topped mine off with a thick slice of grilled Vidalia onion. Still had my carrot sticks and celery on the side! The burgers were great, very moist (from the hot sauce i think) and flavorful--I'll definitely be making these again!

A summer meal at it's finest, no matter what the weather!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Rain, Rain GO AWAY

I know I shouldn't complain, but I could use a break from all the rain we've been getting. Luckily, I'm heading to Durham for the weekend, so I'll have a little escape!

What do you do when strolling through the farmers market and you see bunches of rhubarb $3 or 2/$5? Buy two of course! Turns out they were good size stalks, too- 1lb each! I love rhubarb, and it's not without benefits--check out Zesty's recent post about it!

My mind always goes straight to the strawberry rhubarb pie my mom always made, but this time I wanted to try something different. Went to my trusty recipe cove and came up with two savory ways to enjoy rhubarb. I know they're not my own recipes (the title of the dish is a link to the recipes), but I thought they were both delicious, and worth sharing!! If you still see some rhubarb around in stores/farmers markets, be sure to give it a try :) Sorry for the lighting of the photos, I tried!

Tofu w/Hot & Sour Sauce
toppings on the side, for a certain someone who doesn't like onions ;)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sunny Apricots

Apricot Cake

Doesn't that look like sunshine? :) Or maybe pillows... All this rain seems to be getting to me ;)

One way to brighten your day is to make this delightful cake to make with some fresh apricots! I made half the recipe in an 8" round pan. Instead of a mix of WWW and quinoa flour, I used a mix of mostly WW pastry and a little WW flour. I also used honey, and even though I accidentally added 1/4c yogurt (that was the original amount, not halved), I needed a little liquid to make the dough come together (I used Lactaid). I had ~1T chopped pistachios hanging out in my freezer, so they got tossed on top instead of almonds.

full frontal

I overcooked mine just a tad (or maybe could've used a bit more liquid), but it was still delicious. I opted for a drizzle of honey at the time of serving instead of a glaze. I'd highly recommend this for brunch or a not-to-sweet dessert! I'm sure any stone fruit (plums, peaches, nectarines, pluots, apriums... did i get them all?) would work well here :)

this is my good side

Friday, June 19, 2009

An ode to Spring

I think the weather is confused. It has certainly felt like spring around here, even though the first day of summer is right around the corner. This dish seems to fit, chock full of spring veggies. I followed this recipe for Pasta Primavera. Well, "followed" as I normally do, subbing this and that :) It started at the grocery store... I happened upon a package of "fresh" pasta for 99cents (on sale, plus a $2 coupon). Old habits die hard, and I couldn't resist. The catch? It needed to be cooked by the next day. I already asparagus, criminis, a yellow pepper, peas, spinach in my kitchen, so pasta primavera it was. I'm sure fresh peas would also be great if you have them. This was a fantastic veggie-packed delight, that also reheated well for lunch!

Pasta Primavera

Anyone else catch Cook Yourself Thin (where this recipe came from)? Reminds me of a British version of Ellie Krieger's show in it's cooking philosophy. I'd say this one's a hit, we'll have to see how some of the others fare!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

An Easy App

I made these for a brunch I was having with a couple friends, and in case you haven't tried them, thought it would be best to share!! Quick and tasty, everyone's sure to be impressed!

Sundried Tomato Pesto Palmiers

These extremely versatile scroll-look-alikes are really a blank slate for your creativity. Keep it simple with cheese, try pesto, or take it over to the dark side with some semisweet chocolate for a sweet treat ;)

Sundried Tomato Pesto Palmiers
Yield ~40

1/2 package puff pastry (1 sheet of dough)
Sundried tomato pesto (click for the recipe I used)
Gruyere, finely grated

Defrost puff pastry in the fridge before you want to use it (I took it out the night before so I could make it in the morning). Roll out on a dry, lightly floured surface. Top with desired amount of pesto and cheese (or other toppings!).

Preheat oven to 400deg. Roll each of the long sides inwards so that the two meet. (Can be refigerated here if being prepared ahead. It could also help with the slicing) Slice (maybe 1/8") and transfer to a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake 10-15min until nice and golden (mine were closer to 10min). Serve!

I hear they keep pretty well... if they last that long ;)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Few Firsts

I know, it's been awhile... for posting and reading all your blogs! I haven't cooked much this past week, but I can share some more "firsts" with you :)

I finally tried some of the Lavender I got from Marx Foods! I wasn't sure how to use it, and when I came upon this Rhubarb Lavender Crisp at The Kitchn I knew I'd have to give it a go. My scaled-back version (with 2 servings) used some local rhubarb and a crisp topping that had some coconut in it. I thought I had written down what I had done, but I couldn't find that piece of paper... oops. I served it with coconut milk vanilla bean ice cream, which I highly recommend trying if you haven't yet!! The verdict? I liked it, but I was conservative with the lavender just in case ;) Anyone else have any suggestions on how else I can utilize lavender??

Rhubarb Lavender Crisp

My other forray was into fava beans. Favas, also known as broad beans, are actually a member of the pea family, and could have bean the "magic beans" in the Jack and the Beanstalk tale! If that's not reason enough to try them, fava beans are high in fiber and iron, low in sodium, and contain L-dopa (used in treatment of Parkinson's).

They are a little more cumbersome, as they need to be peeled twice. The first time to take the beans out of the pods (see above), and then to remove the woody outer covering (see below). I read that it should be parboiled after shelling, and while it likely makes the peeling easier, I didn't find it too difficult to just remove the outer layer without this step.

Like other beans, they can be very versatile, I almost grilled them, but decided to try something different with these rich, buttery beans. I browned some spicy Italian chicken sausage (completely optional if you want a vegetarian dish) and set that aside. Next in the pan I sauteed a package of shiitake mushrooms (sliced) in a little bit of EVOO with some garlic and fava beans (the latter two ingredients I added once the mushrooms had cooked down a bit). Then came some cooked pasta (I used Barilla Plus penne) and the cooked sausage, creating a Fabulous Fava Pasta! Ok, enough with the F's!! Hopefully I"ll be back soon with something that starts with a different letter ;) Have a great week!

Pasta w/Favas, Shiitakes & Spicy Chix Sausage

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mexican Slaw

Just like MizFit, I find it hard to actually use my jicama for anything other than a snack. When I had egg rolls in mind, I actually had to postpone making them as the first one I bought mysteriously disappeared before I had a chance to make it! I was very intrigued by the idea of using jicama as rice (thanks Gina!). But I had something else in mind given its crisp, juicy texture.

Perfect for a summer side dish, I decided to try out a Mexican Slaw, with the jicama taking the place of the traditional cabbage. What turned out was a simple side dish that was very refreshing-- an excellent addition to a picnic or bbq on a hot summer day!

Mexican Slaw

I forgot to actually write down a recipe when I made this, but here's what I did. Cut half of a medium-sized jicama into chunks and run through food processor. (I just put it in the bowl with the normal blade, but I bet you could grate it as well) Add desired amount of black beans, diced red and green peppers, corn (fresh or defrosted frozen). For a 'dressing' I kept it simple with freshly squeezed lime juice, Daregal Fresh Frozen cilantro, scant 1T canola oil, salt and pepper. Toss this all together, taste, and adjust it to your taste. I'm sure a squeeze of hot sauce would've worked well, but I didn't think of it at the time!
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