Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wednesday Fun #26 - Eggses

Oh my gosh, it's WEDNESDAY!

Yeah, being gone for the holidays and returning just yesterday, plus not having our usual preschool class today due to spring break has completely messed me up. So, apologies for not doing this earlier today!

So, um, right.... let's see....

Hard boiled eggs? How do YOU use them up?

Pack one in your lunch every day? Turn 'em into deviled eggs? Egg-salad sandwiches? Leave them in your frig until you're afraid they'll take over? Carve them into tiny white jack-o-lanterns and pretend it's Halloween? What do you do with them?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wednesday Fun #25 - Cookbook Call-out

Since this is apparently a good month for lists, your Wednesday Fun challenge for today is to name at least 3 of your cookbooks without looking at/for them. I figure we'll hear some of your most used ones, or most memorable ones, plus you'll give your brain a bit of a stretch trying to remember them.

List (at least) 3 of your cookbooks!

And a big thank you shout out to AllKnowingJen and The Dude for today's Wednesday Fun poll idea about egg dyeing! Brilliant!

P.S. Yeah, by the way, you don't have to be an official Recipeeps contributor to play these Wednesday Funs or do the polls, you know, so all you lurkers out there, join in!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash and Shallots

This is another recipe from the Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2002 cookbook, which we use all the time. I'd say it takes just under an hour to make what with the peeling and cutting the squash and roasting it and all; they say 40 minutes, which you could probably do once you've done the recipe a few times. It's a very tasty vegetarian main dish. This makes 3-4 servings, but it would be very easy to double or even triple (if you used two pans to roast the vegetables).

3 c. cubed (1-inch), peeled butternut squash [1/2 of a medium-large squash or 3/4 of a medium-small one] **
1 T. dark brown sugar [or regular brown sugar]
1 1/2 Tbl. olive oil, divided
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
8 shallots, peeled and halved lengthwise (about 1/2 lb.)
1 Tbl. chopped fresh OR 1 tsp. dried rubbed sage
4 oz. uncooked pappardelle (wide ribbon pasta) or fettuccine
1/4 c. (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 475 F.

2. Combine squash, sugar, 2 1/2 tsp. oil, salt, pepper, and shallots in a jelly roll pan; toss well. Bake at 457F for 20 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in sage.

3. While squash mixture bakes, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Place cooked pasta in a bowl. Add 2 tsp. olive oil; toss well. Serve squash mixture over pasta. Sprinkle with cheese.

** Quick Tip: Use a sharp vegetable peeler to peel the butternut squash. It's easier to handle and less time consuming than using a knife. [I always peel the whole squash with a peeler, then cut it up, remove the seeds, and then cube it. It works really well, and that's now how I always prepare squash for soup or roasting to mash it.]

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wednesday Fun #24 - Green for St. Paddy's Day!

Since St. Patrick's Day is coming up on Monday,

What's your favorite green food?

(I'm a fan of asparagus, especially this recipe, broccoli, mint chocolate chip ice cream, and guacamole! Yay, green!)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Wednesday Fun #23 - Breakfast today

As I was staring rather blankly at the screen, after a long night with a still-sick, fussy Penguin, eating my bread and jam for breakfast today and drinking my 1/4 caffeinated coffee (I need just a little boost in the am's!), I seized upon the topic to hand for today's Wednesday Fun question.

What did you have for breakfast today?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

La Bamba Casserole

This is from Cooking Light October 2002. It's not very spicy, so if you like it hot, you'll need to dial it up with some Tabasco or red pepper or something. It reheats very nicely, and the leftovers are also very, very yummy when heated up and eaten wrapped up in a tortilla! Yum! Yield: 6 (1 1/3 c.) servings of 344 calories and 10.7 g. fat each.

I'd suspect it'd freeze very well, being casserole-y and all, but I'd probably freeze it without the cheese, then heat it up nearly all the way, THEN add the cheese and heat until melted and maybe a little brown. I think if you tried to freeze it with the cheese, when you reheated it in the oven the cheese would burn before it was heated all the way through, but if you do try it either way, leave a comment and give us your insights.

1 (5.25 oz.) can whole green chiles, drained [I use chopped.]
Cooking spray
1 lb. ground turkey breast
1 c. chopped onion
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
2 c. frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
1 (16 oz.) can fat-free refried beans
1 1/2 c. (6 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese [or "Mexican blend"]
1 c. chopped tomato
1/2 c. chopped green onions

1. Preheat oven to 375 F.

2. Cut green chiles in half lengthwise. Arrange chiles in a single layer in a 8-inch square [9-inch round is equivalent] baking dish coated with cooking spray. [I just get chopped ones and spread them out. Much easier to do and to find.]

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add turkey, onion, chili powder, cumin, salt and garlic; saute 5 minutes, stirring to crumble. Add diced tomatoes; cook 5 minutes or until liquid evaporates.

4. Spoon turkey mixture over chiles. Top with corn. Carefully spread beans over corn. Sprinkle cheese over beans. Bake at 375 F for 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes; top with chopped tomato and green onions.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Chocolate-Mint Bars

Another recipe from Cooking Light. This one was on the cover of the March 2008 issue. Quite tasty. Here's the link. Recipe copied below for archival purposes.

"The dense base layer is like a rich, fudgy brownie, so don't overcook it or the dessert bars will be dry. Refrigerating the mint bars allows the chocolaty top layer to set properly. You can make the dessert up to one day ahead. For a more grown-up taste, you can also use dark chocolate chips for some or all of the semisweet chocolate chips in the glaze."

Bottom layer:
1 cup all-purpose flour (about 4 1/2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup egg substitute
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, beaten
1 (16-ounce) can chocolate syrup
Cooking spray

Mint layer:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons fat-free milk
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 drops green food coloring

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons butter

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. To prepare bottom layer, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and salt; stir with a whisk. Combine granulated sugar, egg substitute, 1/4 cup melted butter, 2 tablespoons water, vanilla, eggs, and chocolate syrup in a medium bowl; stir until smooth. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture, stirring until blended. Pour batter into a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 23 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

3. To prepare mint layer, combine powdered sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter, and next 3 ingredients (through food coloring) in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer until smooth. Spread mint mixture over cooled cake.

4. To prepare the glaze, combine the chocolate chips and 3 tablespoons butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until melted, stirring after 30 seconds. Let stand 2 minutes. Spread chocolate mixture evenly over top. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Cut into 20 pieces.

20 servings (serving size: 1 piece)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 264(30% from fat); FAT 8.7g (sat 5.2g,mono 2.5g,poly 0.4g); PROTEIN 2.8g; CHOLESTEROL 38mg; CALCIUM 12mg; SODIUM 139mg; FIBER 0.5g; IRON 0.9mg; CARBOHYDRATE 45g

Megan Patterson ,Cooking Light, MARCH 2008

Broiled Flank Steak with Warm Tomato Topping

This one is from Cooking Light. We made it for a Wednesday night dinner. It was quick and tasty.

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed
Cooking spray
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (about 1 tablespoon)
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat broiler.
Combine 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and red pepper; sprinkle evenly over steak. Place steak on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; broil 10 minutes or until desired degree of doneness, turning once. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and jalapeño to pan; cook 1 minute. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon cumin, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and tomatoes to pan; cook 3 minutes or until tomatoes begin to soften. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro. Serve tomato topping with steak. Serves 4.

Roasted Bell Pepper Antipasto

This one is from The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook. I made it without the green peppers and used yellow and orange bell peppers along with the red ones. It's listed in the appetizer section, but it made a great side dish. They suggest it could be served with some Italian salamis and cold meats.

3 red bell peppers
2 yellow or orange bell peppers
2 green bell peppers
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
5 Tbsp olive oil
few drops of hot pepper sauce
4 canned artichoke hearts, drained and sliced
1 garlic clove, sliced
salt and ground black pepper
basil leaves, to garnish

Serves 6

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a foil-lined baking sheet and place the whole peppers on the foil. Bake for about 45 minutes, until beginning to char. Remove from the oven, cover with a dish towel and let cool for 5 minutes.

2. Slice the sun-dried tomatoes. Remove the core and seeds from the peppers and peel away the skins. Slice each pepper into thick strips.

3. Beat together the vinegar, oil, and hot pepper sauce, then season with a little salt and pepper.

4. Toss the peppers with the sliced artichokes, tomatoes, and garlic. Pour the dressing over and sprinkle the basil leaves on top.