Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Low Carb Cooking

I've spent the past 18 weeks on a weight loss program. I am learning how to re think the way I eat.
One of the rules that I'll follow from now on is, don't eat Fat and Carbohydrates in the same meal.
What that means is....... traditionally Americans eat a Steak (fat) with a Baked Potato (carbohydrate). Instead choose your food wisely. It's ok to have the Fat or the Carbohydrates, but not together. This means that you have the Steak with a Salad or the Baked Potato alone, with a Vegetable topping and not Butter (fat), Sour Cream (fat) or Cheese (fat).
If you want a Salad, either pick between Croutons (Carbohydrate) or Cheese (fat) , but never together.
Pasta.... it's ok. However have your Pasta without Meatballs, choose a Primavera Topping. If you want Meatballs, have them with a Marinara Sauce and a Salad.
I hope you understand the concept.

Here are just a few low Carb recipes that may help you get started on changing the way you think about food.

Spinach and Pecan Casserole:
Here's want you'll need:
1 Quart Casserole Dish sprayed with a vegetable cooking spray.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2 - (10oz.) packages of Frozen Spinach, thawed and drained.
4 oz. Cream Cheese
4 TBS Butter
1/2 C Chopped Pecans
1/4 C Grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste.

In a medium microwavable bowl:
Heat Spinach in the microwave and set aside.

In a large microwavable bowl:
Heat Cream Cheese and Butter in the microwave.
Stir in the Spinach.
Pour into a the casserole dish.
Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese
Top with Pecans
Bake for 10 - 15 minutes.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Asparagus Frittata:

2 TBS Olive Oil
1/2 C Diced Onion
1 Clove of Garlic, minced
1 tsp Fresh Chopped Thyme
1/2 of a tomato, seeded and diced.
12 Asparagus Spears, steamed and cut into 2" pieces.
8 Eggs
Salt and Pepper to taste.
1/2 C Grated Parmesan Cheese

In a 9" - 10 " ovenproof nonstick skillet on medium heat:
Onion
Garlic
Thyme
Saute for 3 minutes.
Add Asparagus for 1 - 2 minutes.
Add 1/2 of the diced Tomato.
Stir.

Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Clean the pan.
Turn the oven to broil.

Whisk Eggs in a bowl.
Add Salt and Pepper to taste.
Fold in the Cheese by hand.

Heat remaining oil in the skillet on medium high.
Add Eggs and top with vegetables.
Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes.
Place under the broiler until firm.
Transfer to a serving platter and top with remaining Tomato to serve.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Arugula Salad with Soft Boiled Egg and Dijon Vinaigrette:

Vinaigrette:
2 TBS diced Shallots
1/2 TBS Dijon Mustard
2 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar
6 TBS Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/8 tsp Salt

Place all ingredients in a jar and shake to mix well.
Drizzle over a plate of Arugula and top it with a Soft Boiled Egg.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Pesto Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes:

Cherry Tomatoes
Homemade Pesto, recipe to follow.
Slice the top off of the tomatoes and take a thin slice off the bottom so they sit up.
Scoop out the seeds to create a well for the Pesto.
Drizzle with Olive Oil and serve on a bed of Bib Lettuce.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Balsamic Chicken Bake:

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1 - glass baking dish to accommodate 4 chicken breasts. ( I use Vegetarian Quorn Chick'n Cutlets, Microwaved from frozen and browned in a bit of oil.)

4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, vegetarian option listed above.
5 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1 C chopped Fresh Basil
1/2 TBS Olive Oil
1 TBS Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 C Water
1 C Sliced Mushrooms
1 small carton of Cherry Tomatoes, halved.

Place Chicken in the baking dish, sprayed with a vegetable cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl:
Garlic
Basil
Olive Oil
Vinegar
Water
Mushrooms
Tomatoes
Pour evenly over the Chicken and Bake for 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Eggs baked in Mushroom Caps:

Eggs
Portobello Mushroom Caps, cleaned, remove stems and gills to create a well for the eggs.
Salt and Pepper to taste
FreshThyme, Rosemary or Parsley
Olive Oil


Rub the mushrooms inside and out with Olive Oil.
Place them on a parchment paper lined sheet pan.
Crack 1 egg in the center of each cap.
Season with Salt and Pepper.
Sprinkle with your choice of herbs.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the eggs are cooked the way you like them. I prefer my yolks to be soft.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!




Lemon Garlic Brussels Sprouts:

2 pounds of Brussels Sprouts
1 TBS Olive Oil
5 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1 Lemon, juiced and Zested
3 TBS Grated Gruyere Cheese
Sea Salt
Pepper

Clean and trim the Sprouts, cut them in half.

In a skillet:
Heat Oil on medium high heat.
Add Sprouts and cook for 8 - 10 minutes.
Add Garlic about 4 minutes into the cooking time.
Reduce heat to low and add Lemon Juice, Zest, Salt and Pepper to taste.
Stir well.
Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the cheese just before serving.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!




Marinated Cucumbers:

2 Cucumbers slice thin.
1 Vidalia Onion, slices thin.

Marinade:

1/2 C Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 C Water
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste.
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
Mix all ingredients in a jar and shake well. Allow to sit for ten minutes and shake again.
Place Cucumbers and Onions in a serving bowl and top with the Marinade.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Served chilled.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Spiced Pecan Loaf Bread

Just another great Holiday recipe.
I'm going to add this to our Thanksgiving menu.

Here's what you'll need:

1 - 9" X 5" Loaf Pan brushed well with Pan Release Mix. (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil, Flour) I start with 1 C of each mixed in a jar and refrigerated. I always have it available for all of my baking needs.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

8 TBS Butter, room temperature
3/4 C Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1/2 C Molasses
1 TBS Orange Zest
2 C Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
1 C chopped Pecans
3/4 C Orange Juice

In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer:
Beat Butter until creamy.
Add Brown Sugar and continue beating until creamy.
Add Egg and beat well.
Stir in Molasses and Zest by hand until well incorporated.

In a medium mixing bowl:
Flour
Baking Powder
Baking Soda
Ginger
Nutmeg
Clove
Pecans
Mix well by hand
Add to the Butter mixture alternating each addition with Orange Juice. Begin and end with Flour.

Pour batter into the pan and bake for 55 minutes. A toothpick in the center should come out clean.

Remove pan to a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
Inver the loaf onto the rack and cool completely.


Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

No Bake Strawberry Shortcake Ice Box Cake


I've seen this recipe all over the internet. I decided to simply copy the link on my blog.


http://foodiesnetwork.tv/no-bake-strawberry-shortcake-ice-box-cake/

Christmas Morning Muffins

This is such an obvious choice for The Hippy in the Kitchen.
It evokes muffins from the 60's and 70's. These make a great gift to deliver to friends early Christmas morning. Deliver them warm, in a Christmas Tea Towel lined basket, with a recipe card attached.

4 C Flour
2 1/2 C Granulated Sugar
4 tsp Baking Soda
4 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Salt
4 C grated Carrots. Start with 8 Carrots.
1 C Golden Raisins
1 C chopped Pecans
1/2 C Sweetened Coconut Flakes
2 Apples, peeled and grated. I prefer Jonagold.
6 Eggs
1 1/4 C Vegetable Oil
2 tsp Vanilla

Here's what you'll need:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
1 - 12 C Muffin Tin brushed with Pan Release Mix Equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour. I start with 1 C of each, mixed in a jar and refrigerated. I always have it available for all of my baking needs.

In a karge mixing bowl:
Flour
Granulated Sugar
Baking Soda
Cinnamon
Salt
Whisk well.
Fold in Carrots by hand.
Fold in:
Raisins
Pecans
Coconut

In a small bowl:
Eggs
Vegetable Oil
Vanilla
Whisk well.
Gradually add the Flour to the mixture and create a batter.
Use a Cupcake Scoop and fill the cups 2/3 full.

Bake for 20 - 25 minutes. They should be golden brown.
Remove the pan to a rack and cool for 10 minutes.
Release the muffins to the rack and cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Miniature Chocolate Yule Log Cookies

These cookies are a simple miniature version of the traditional Christmas Yule Log Cake.
This recipe was adapted from the original recipe in the December 2011 issue of Food & Wine.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Line a Sheet Pan with Parchment Paper.



6 TBS Butter, room temperature
2 TBS Granulated Sugar
2 TBS Brown Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Vanilla
3/4 C Flour
1/3 C Cocoa Powder
2 TBS Heavy Cream


Chocolate Icing:

2 oz. Cream Cheese, room temperature
1 C Confectioner's Sugar, sifted
1.2 tsp unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 tsp Heavy Cream
1/2 oz. unsweetened Chocolate, melted

Additional Confectioner's Sugar, sifted over the completes logs to resemble snow.

In a mixing bowl, with a hand mixer:
Butter
Granulated Sugar
Brown Sugar
Salt
Vanilla
Beat until creamy and the sugar is well incorporated.

Add:
Flour
Cocoa Powder
Beat on low speed until completly incorporated.
Add Heavy Cream and continue beating.

Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and roll into 2 - 16" long ropes.
Wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Cut the ropes into 2" logs and Bake for 20 minutes.
Transfer the  sheet pan to a rack and cool for 10 minutes.
Transfer the logs to the rack and cool completely.

Icing:

In a mixing bowl, with a hand mixer:
Cream Cheese
Confectioner's Sugar
Cocoa Powder
Heavy Cream
Beat until smooth.
Beat in Melted Chocolate.

Roughly Ice the Logs and drag the tines of a york through the icing to create the look of bark.
Allow the iced cookies to rest on the cooling rack for at least 2 hours, until the chocolate is set.
Sift Confectioner's Sugar over the logs to resemble snow.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!






Spiced Apple Loaf Cake with Orange Glaze Icing

Here's another great Fall Dessert!
This one comes from Aunt Faye's recipe collection.


Spiced Apple Loaf Cake:

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1 -( 9"X 5")  Standard Loaf Pan or 4 -(6" X 2 1/2") Small Loaf Pans.
Brush them well with Pan Release Mix. (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour) I start with 1 C of each, mix well in a jar and refrigerate. I aways have it available for all of my baking needs.

2 C Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
3/4 C Butter, softened
2 Eggs
1/2 C Buttermilk
1 C Apple Butter

Glaze:
1 C Confectioner's Sugar
2 TBS Orange Juice
1 TBS Orange Zest

In a mixing bowl:
Flour
Baking Soda
Salt
Nutmeg
Cinnamon
Cloves
Whisk well and set aside.

In a large Mixing Bowl, with a hand mixer:
Butter
Sugar
Cream together well.
Add:
Eggs and continue beating to incorporate well.
Alternately add Flour Mixture and Buttermilk, begin and end with Flour mixture.
Mix just until combined.
Fold in the Apple Butter, by hand.

Pour batter into the prepared pan.
Bake 55 minutes for the large loaf pan and bake 30 - 35 minutes for the small pans.
A toothpick in the center should come out clean.
Remove the pan to a cooling rack and Ice the cake while it's still warm.

Prepare the Glaze:

In a mixing bowl, with a hand mixer.
Confectioner's Sugar
Orange Juice
Orange Zest
Beat until smooth
Ice the top of the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven.
Allow to cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Coconut Macaroon Pie



This recipe is originally from The Saddlebag Lake Resort Cookbook from 1956. It's in Yosemite National Park. I love vintage recipes like this. This is a very simple pie.

Coconut Macaroon Pie:

2 Eggs, beaten
1/2 C Water
1 1/2 C Granulated Sugar
1/4 C Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
1 stick (8TBS) Butter, melted
1 1/3 C Sweetened Flaked Coconut + additional for garnish.
1 unbaked 9" Pie Crust

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl:
Eggs
Water
Sugar
Flour
Salt
Butter
Whisk well.
Fold in the Coconut by hand.
Pour filling into the crust and sprinkle with additional Coconut Flakes which will brown as the Pie bakes.
Bake for 45 - 55 minutes. It should be golden brown. Rotate the pie half way through baking time.
Check it to make sure it doesn't brown too quickly. You can always make a foil tent to stop the browning and finish the baking time.

Remove the pan to a rack and cool completely before serving.
It's even better if it's refrigerated for 3 hours.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!