Sunday, March 30, 2008

Stuffed Chicken (with three types of stuffing)

Stuffed Chicken

Stuffing (3 recipes below)
4 bone-in, skin on chicken breast halves
2 tsp. butter, melted
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 9 X 9 inch pan. Prepare desired stuffing. Loosen skin from chicken by inserting fingers between skin and meat; gently separate in center, but leave skin attached at sides. Spread 1/4 of the stuffing evenly between meat and skin of each breast. Smooth skin over breasts, tucking under loose areas. Place chicken, skin sides up, in pan. Brush with butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake uncovered 45-55 minutes or until done.

Smoked Gouda and Spinach Stuffing
30 oz. frozen, chopped spinach
1 3 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup gouda or swiss cheese, shredded
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Squeeze spinach to drain and spread on paper towels and pat dry. Mix remaining ingredients. Stir in spinach.

Cranberry-Wild Rice Stuffing
1 cup hot water
1 cup cooked wild rice
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 large onion
1 6 oz. package of stuffing mix, prepared

Apple-Hazelnut Stuffed Chicken
1/4 cup hazelnuts, thinly sliced
1 medium apple, chopped
1 3oz. package of cream cheese, softened

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Last week or so my entire family was experiencing some level of illness. Couple that with cold weather (snow!), moving, and all of life's other stresses and I decided to whip up some comfort food. Nothing says "home" to me like some meatloaf! Here is my meatloaf recipe, the secret ingredient - carrots!


1 lb lean ground beef (the leaner the better)
1 cup milk
1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
1/4 tsp dried sage
pinch of salt & pepper
1 tbsp mustard
1 1/2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 egg
1/2 cup of dried whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup green pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup red pepper, finely chopped
2 tbsp grated carrot
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp bbq sauce

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the ketchup and barbecue sauce. Form into a loaf and place on an ungreased baking sheet or inside a loaf pan. Then combine ketchup and barbecue sauce and spread evenly over top of the loaf.

Pop it into the oven (uncovered) for 1 hour or so, or until a meat thermometer reads at least 160 degrees.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I'm so sorry guys! I just noticed that people were leaving comments to the recipe posts. Somehow they were not making it to my inbox! Playing catch up now!


One of my favorite ethnic diets is from the Middle East. This can range anywhere from Lebanon, Israel, Greece, Palestine, Egyptian, Iran, Iraq, etc. Specifically I love Lebanese food (which is also considered part of the Mediterranean diet family too) and one of my favorite items is falafel. This is a really common fast food item there according to my friend wikipedia. Tahini, which is a sauce made from sesame seeds is a major component of Lebanese cooking. Aladdin's is the best place in town for Chicken Lentil Stew, I hope someday to pilfer said recipe from them somehow. Anyways- when I want to make falafel at home vs ordering take out or making it from a box, here is my favorite recipe:


2 cups water
1 cup white fava or garbanzo beans (canned)
1 egg
1 small red onion, finely chopped
3 tbsp. fresh parsley
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. finely chopped garlic
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. coriander
3/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. red pepper
vegetable oil

Mash warmed beans with a fork, adding 2-3 tbsp of the liquid from the can if necessary. Do not use a blender or food processor though. Stir in remaining ingredients except for oil. The mixture should be thick. Cover and let stand for one hour. Pinch off 1 inch pieces into rounds and flatten. Let stand 30 minutes. Heat 2 inches of oil in a 3 quart sauce pan to 375ºF. Fry several at a time 2-3 minutes each, turning once until golden brown. Remove with slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Serve on pita bread or crumbled onto a salad.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Pi day!

I am a bit of a nerd, surprised I know. Because of these leanings I always remember that March 14 is Pi Day. You know, 3.14159 etc. Get it? 3.14? So to celebrate the day I give you my favorite apple pi(e) recipe today.

Apple Pie

1/2 cup water, ice cold
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 sticks of cold butter

In a bowl, mix together flour and salt. Omit salt if you are using salted butter by the way. My secret to getting the butter into the flour well is to get out my grater and sort of shave it into the bowl. It saves time too! If grating isn't your style cup the butter into 1/4 inch pieces. It doesn't have to be exact, in fact i love irregular pieces here and there that are extra flaky. Work the butter into the flour mixture for a few minutes before slowly adding the ice water little by little until it forms a good consistency. Then cut the dough in half and flatten each one. At this point I wrap them up in plastic and put them into the fridge for about an hour to rest and firm up.

A word on apples before I go on. Not every apple is ideal for baking. Some are sweet, others tart. In my (and many others) opinion(s) the best apples for baking are: Granny Smith, Greening, Rome, & Newton Pippin.


8 cups of apples, thinly sliced
dash of salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour
handful of caramels (if you're feeling frisky)

Wash, pare, and thinly slice the apples. The caramels are totally optional but I really love what they add do the pie.

In a saucepan combine all of the filling ingredients and cover & cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. By this point moisture from the apples should have worked it's way out and will be creating a bubbly sauce. At the end of 10 minutes take off the lid and stir it until the consistency is right. Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 325

After the crust has rested in the fridge for an hour, flour up your counter and rolling pin and start rolling it out until it fits inside a pie dish. Then add the filling and do the same for the top crust, making sure you cut slits, or an X, or whatevera in the top before putting it in the oven.

Bake for 40-50 minutes but let your eyes and nose tell you when the pie is gone. If it's flaking and beautiful, it's done.

My husband thanks me for my apple pies. As you can see, he's kind of a fan of such things.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


A few years ago i set out on a quest to make the perfect granola. In my searches I've come up with two very reliable recipes that I've sort of smooshed together into my own version. These would be one by of one my oldest friend's Nicole and another by Alton Brown. For me, the perfect granola is chewy, sweet, and most of all healthy. I think this recipe fulfills all of those requirements and then some. I also love how customizable it is. My husband and I have pretty different tastes when it comes to granola so I usually wind up making two different batches switching out nuts (he loves peanuts and I love almonds & walnuts) and also the fruit (I have an unspoken daily cherry regiment to keep up after all but my husband is a fan of raisins). In my opinion this is best served with Stonyfield Farm's Organic Strawberry Yogurt.


3 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup chopped hazlenuts
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup coconut
3/4 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon in a pinch)
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins, cherries, figs, etc.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, cinnamon, flax, wheat germ, and brown sugar. In another bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, honey, and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.

Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add dried fruit of your liking and enjoy!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Chocolate Brownies & Icing

I love the icing that I've paired with these brownies because it is so versatile! This is my favorite icing ever! This recipe makes 1 1/2 cups of icing.

Chocolate Brownies

2/3 cup butter

5 oz bittersweet baking chocolate

1 3/4 cups sugar

2 tsp vanilla

3 eggs

1 cup flour

1 cup walnuts

2 tbsp strong coffee or 1 tsp espresso powder

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom of a 13 X 9 inch pan with shortening. Melt butter and chocolate in a sauce pan on the stove, over low heat, stirring constantly. Cool 5 minutes.

Beat sugar, vanilla, and eggs together on high for 5 minutes. Beat in cooled chocolate mixture on low. Then beat in flour just until it is blended. Do not overmix. Add walnuts & coffee then spread in pan.
Bake about 30 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack before applying icing. Cut and enjoy.

Buttercream Icing

1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups confectioners sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

With an electric mixer beat butter until light and fluffy. Then reduce the speed down to medium and add the sugar 1/2 cup at a time. Be warned that because of the airiness of the sugar it tends to fly around a bit. Scrape the bowl well after each addition or as necessary. Mix in the vanilla
in at this point. Increase speed to high and beat about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.

Icing Variations -

Chocolate Buttercream
- prepare Vanilla Buttercream as described above. Melt 4 oz of bittersweet chocolate on the stove top on low, stirring constantly, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely before adding to the Buttercream.

Berry Buttercream
- prepare Vanilla Buttercream as described above. Mix in 3-4 tsp of your favorite berry jam. This isn't really suitable for these brownies, but they are fantastic on cupcakes! (but that's another entry!)

Chocolate Vegan Icing
#1 -

1 cup sugar

6 tbsp corn starch

4 tbsp cocoa

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp oil

1 cup water

1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cocoa in a medium sauce pan. Whisk in the water. Heat over medium until it gets thick and starts to boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes (make sure you don't boil too long, or it will set like toffee). Remove from heat and stir in oil and vanilla

Chocolate Vegan Icing #2 -

1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 cups sugar

2/3 cups corn starch

2 cups soy milk (i like to use vanilla flavored personally)

1/2 tsp vanilla (possibly omit if using vanilla soymilk)

In a medium sauce pan whisk together sugar and cocoa. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together the corn starch and soy milk until no lumps are left then add that to the saucepan. Cook this over medium heat, scraping the bowl constantly, until the mixture is glossy, About 7 minutes or so. remove from heat and add the vanilla. Cool completely before adding to cupcakes.

Broccoli Cheddar Loaf

Someone requested that I post this recipe on my blog. I had made this with two different fillings for a party celebrating our daughter's baby dedication. The best part - the dough is the same recipe iI use for pizza dough! So try making a double batch and save yourself from time and effort! The dough freezes very well. Another cool variation might be to use phyllo dough for a flakier crust or instead of the broccoli add ham. I cut this into 2-3 inch slices, cut on the diagonal, and served it as an appetizer amongst other foods but it's versatile enough that I think it would work as a main course easily. If you're in a pinch or just don't feel like hassling with making everything from scratch just buy some fresh or frozen pizza dough! This recipe is enough for two loafs or one loaf & one pizza.


dough -

1 teaspoon white sugar

1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 egg, beaten (for the top)

In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water. Sprinkle yeast over the top, and let stand for about 10 minutes, until foamy.

Stir the olive oil and salt into the yeast mixture, then mix in the whole wheat flour and 1 cup of the all-purpose flour until dough starts to come together. Tip dough out onto a surface floured with the remaining all-purpose flour, and knead until all of the flour has been absorbed, and the ball of dough becomes smooth, about 10 minutes. Place dough in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover loosely with a towel, and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

When the dough is doubled, tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into 2 pieces for 2 thin crust, or leave whole to make one thick crust. Form into a tight ball. Let rise for about 45 minutes, until doubled. Place dough on lightly floured surface; flatten slightly with hands, then roll into 12x8-inch rectangle with rolling pin. (If dough is difficult to roll, cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 30 min. before rolling out.)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees at this point

1 cup cheddar cheese
5 oz broccoli, cooked
1/4 cup miracle whip
1 egg, beaten (for the top)

Mix all ingredients of the filling except the egg together and spread evenly over dough.

Moisten edges of dough with water. Starting at one of the long sides of dough, fold one-third of the dough over filling, then repeat with other long side of dough. Firmly pinch ends of dough together to seal. Place, seam-side down, on lightly greased baking sheet.

Cut three diagonal slits in top of dough with kitchen shears. Brush evenly with the egg for a golden crust.

35 to 40 min. or until golden brown. Cool 10 min. before slicing to serve.

Filling variation-
ham & swiss, ham & cheddar (I've personally made this and it's GOOD!), turkey & gouda, spinach & feta.

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins

Not only are these muffins insanely good but they are also insanely good for you! No sugar, white flour, and minimal oils used make this recipe an excellent snack at any hour of the day. We love them for breakfast especially, try them heated slightly with a dollop of vanilla yogurt or peanut butter on top! A great source of fiber, folic acid, and potassium and they are low in fat. My favorite part is that they are so portable that I can give them to the kids on the go with no guilt! These are easy to freeze for later too.


3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp wheat germ
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
4 oz cream cheese
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup honey
3 eggs
1 tbsp flax seeds
3 tbsp hot water
2 cups smooshed ripe bananas (3-5 bananas)
1/2 cup hot water

1. Stir together flour, baking soda, salt, and wheat germ.

2. Beat together olive applesauce, cream cheese, honey & baking powder. Then add olive oil.

3. Mix hot water with flax seeds and set aside to allow to dissolve. Meanwhile, beat in eggs one at a time, making sure to combine well before adding the next. After all eggs are in, add flax seeds.

4. Add bananas and mix until combined

5. Add dry ingredients to wet, alternating with hot water; mix well after each addition.

6. Spoon batter into 24 greased muffin cups; bake at 325 degrees for 22-25 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown and test done.

7. Remove from oven and cool on rack.

Try one of the optional variations: 1 tsp vanilla, 1/4 cup peanut butter, 1/4 cup frozen or fresh blueberries, 3/4 cup walnuts or pecans