Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Blueberry Crumb Cake

Once again I was in a baking mood, but I didn't want anything really super sweet. We had a bunch of blueberries and I came across this recipe on the Food Network and thought it was perfect. It's really good too!

For the streusel:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour

For the cake:
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature (3/4 stick)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
2/3 cup sour cream
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup fresh blueberries
Confectioners' sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round baking pan.

For the streusel:
Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and then the flour. Mix well and set aside.

For the cake:
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, lemon zest, and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Fold in the blueberries and stir with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out with a knife. With your fingers, crumble the topping evenly over the batter. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely and serve sprinkled with confectioners' sugar.

Pasta with Zucchini and Chickpeas

So apparently this is a Real Simple magazine recipe, but I was unable to find it through their website. I just did a web search for zucchini and chickpeas and came across a few other blogs that said it was from their magazine. Then I found the actual recipe here. Well wherever it came from, it was delish and really quick to make.

12 oz. pasta - I just used spaghetti but it called for linguine
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 small zucchini cut into thin half moon slices
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, drain and return to the pot. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, tossing often, until just tender, 4-5 minutes. Add the chickpeas, garlic and red pepper and cook until heated through, 2-3 minutes. Toss the pasta with the reserved pasta water. Divide the pasta among bowls and top with the zucchini mixture.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mexican Style Goulash

I found this recipe and it seemed to get some good reviews so I gave it a shot. I didn't have tomato sauce so I used some beef broth to make up for the loss of liquid. I also ended up adding some bell pepper and RedHot sauce to give it a little kick, but it was quite tasty.

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onion,
1 red/orange/yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup fresh or frozen corn (I used one can)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup beef stock
1-1/4 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
RedHot sauce to taste
2/3 cup uncooked macaroni (I used rotini)
2/3 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese (I used pepper-jack cheese)

In a large nonstick skillet, cook beef, onion and bell pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomatoes, beef stock, corn, water, chili powder, oregano and salt. Bring to a boil. Add RedHot sauce to taste. Add pasta. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until pasta is tender. Sprinkle with cheese; cover and cook 2-3 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Avocado Pasta Salad

I wanted to make some sort of cold salad with avocado to go with our chicken, and this is what I came up with. It was really good and made for a nice lunch too. I found a dressing recipe with lime in it to help with the oxidation of the avocado...or so I thought. The avocado turned brown the next day so I'm thinking next time I'll toss the avocado with the dressing first, THEN add the rest of the ingredients. I mean, it's not that big of a deal but it tends to not look too appetizing.

1 lb. pasta of your choice, cooked
1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
1-2 avocaods, large dice
4-5 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
chopped fresh parsley

salad dressing:
2 limes, juiced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
about 20 grinds fresh black pepper
1 tbsp. whole-grain mustard

Cook the pasta according to the package. In the meantime, in a large bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients. Dice the avocado, add to dressing and toss. Run the pasta under cold water to cool off; drain. Add pasta to bowl along with artichoke hearts and feta cheese. I added about a handful of chopped fresh parsley as well. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Grilled Chicken Salad

I love this salad! It's basically just a massive amount of veggies on top of some lettuce with a grilled chicken breast on top, but it's fantastic! Oh and use whatever dressing you want. I think I went with Raspberry Vinaigrette this time.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
smoked paprika
salt & pepper
lettuce of your choice - we used Romaine and Spinach
2 slices American cheese
2 slices provolone cheese

2 hard boiled eggs

Coat the chicken breasts with salt & pepper and smoked paprika and grill; let sit 5 minutes then slice. Arrange the lettuce on 2 plates. Place 1 slice of the American cheese and 1 slice of the provolone cheese in the middle of each plate of lettuce; place warm chicken breast on top of cheese so it begins to melt. Then add the sliced hard boiled egg and veggies of your choice. We had carrots, cucumber, beets and bell peppers. Top with dressing of your choice.

Cod in a Packet

Jim threw this together. We had some cod which he coated with olive oil, salt & pepper, paprika and added some fresh thyme. He sliced up some peppers and onions and added everything to a foil packet and tossed them on the grill. Not too much to it really and somewhat similar to another foil packet we made. We served it with some brown rice...quite the healthy meal.