Thursday, July 2, 2015

Mexican Quinoa Salad with Orange Lime Dressing



Loving all these beautiful salads!  Here is another winner!  Packed with goodness and flavor!  Assembles in less than 30 minutes.  I forgot to add the orange segments but I did add some grape tomatoes.  I think the oranges would have been very tasty...mad I forgot!!  Next time!
The dressing is the bomb! 
Be healthy!
Enjoy!



MEXICAN QUINOA SALAD WITH ORANGE LIME DRESSING
adapted from Minimalist Baker

Prep time
15 mins
Cook time
15 mins
Total time
30 mins

Serves: 2-3

Ingredients

SALAD
5-6 cups Mixed Greens
1 cup cooked quinoa (red or white)*
1/2 cup fresh or canned corn
1 cup cooked black beans (seasoned with equal pinches sea salt, cumin, chili + garlic powder)
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 orange, segmented (I forgot the orange segments! geesh!)
1/2 ripe avocado, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped or torn

DRESSING
1/2 ripe avocado
1 large lime, juiced (~4 Tbsp)
3 Tbsp orange juice
1-2 tsp sweetener of choice (maple syrup, agave, cane sugar, etc.)
1-2 tsp hot sauce
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/8 tsp chili powder (or sub extra hot sauce or chipotle powder)
Healthy pinch each sea salt and black pepper
1 Tbsp fresh minced cilantro (optional)
3-4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil ( I only used 1 tbsp oil)

Instructions
Begin preparing quinoa first by thoroughly rinsing 1/2 cup quinoa in a fine mesh strainer, then bringing to a boil with 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook on low for 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare salad ingredients by chopping vegetables, segmenting orange, and warming black beans and seasoning with salt, cumin, chili and garlic powder.
Prepare dressing by adding all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blending until creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. I added more hot sauce, orange juice and salt.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Gluten Free Sweet and Sour Thai Cucumber Salad


Just finished a 30 day juice cleanse and this is the first thing I ate when I broke the fast.  I was looking for a salad with a light dressing and lots of flavor.  This fit the bill!  It has spiralized cucumber and carrots instead of noodles.  (Love my spiralizer!) I used less olive oil than the dressing called for and you could use agave nectar instead of honey if you wanted this dish to be vegan.  It is delicious and even better the next day!


GLUTEN-FREE SWEET AND SOUR THAI CUCUMBER PASTA SALAD
adapted from Peas & Crayons


PREP TIME
15 mins
TOTAL TIME
15 mins

Serves: 2

INGREDIENTS
3 TBSP fresh lemon juice
3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil (I used 1tbsp)
2 TBSP white vinegar
¼ tsp salt [plus extra, to taste]
⅛ tsp dill [fresh or dried]
⅛ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp fresh minced garlic
2 cups chickpeas [canned or cooked from dry]
¼-1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro, plus extra to garnish
1.5 large english cucumbers
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
¼ cup finely minced onion
2-3 extra large carrots
2 TBSP honey
2 TBSP rice vinegar
½-1 TBSP sesame seeds
½-1 TBSP chia seeds

INSTRUCTIONS
Combine lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, garlic powder, dill, salt, and minced garlic and whisk to emulsify.
In a medium bowl add chickpeas, minced onion, chopped bell pepper, ½ an English cucumber [chopped] and cilantro.
Pour in dressing and mix thoroughly. The longer you allow them to marinate the more intense the flavor will be!
Next, using a spiralizer or tool of choice [see above for options] curl one english cucumber and 2-3 large carrots [the biggest, thickest carrots you can find] into raw spiral noodles.
Whisk together 2 tablespoons of honey with 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar and pour over salad.

Top with extra chopped cilantro and a hearty sprinkle of sesame and chia seeds. (also topped mine with some raw cashews...just a handful)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Can She Bake a Cherry Pie?

 CHERRY CRUMB PIE


This has been on my list of pies to bake for eons!  
I have always wanted to bake a cherry pie from scratch and finally did.





Hubby gave it a double thumbs up!


Cherry Crumb Pie

adapted from Alan's Kitchen

Makes 1 pie
Prep Time: 15 min
Baking Time: 40 min

Ingredients:

  •    1/2  recipe Sweet Pastry
  • Filling
    • 2-1/2  cups sour cherries
    •    1/2  cup granulated sugar
    •    1/2  cup light brown sugar
    •       2  Tablespoons flour
    •       2  Tablespoons butter
    •    1/2  cup water or cherry juice
  • Crumbs
    •     3/4  cup flour
    •     3/4  cup sugar
    •     1/4  teaspoon salt
    •     1/4  cup butter
    •     1/2  teaspoon nutmeg or cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F.
  1. USE half of recipe for Sweet Pastry, roll out bottom crust, and line 9-inch pie dish.  Dredge with a little flour and sugar and dot with butter.  In a saucepan, add and mix flour, sugar, and water or cherry juice to a smooth paste. 
  2. COOK over low heat until mixture thickens.   Add balance of butter and cook a minute longer.  Remove from heat, mix with cherries, cool, then pour into pie shell.
  3. FOR crumbs, mix flour, sugar, and salt, blend with butter, add nutmeg or cinnamon (or substitute vanilla or lemon juice) and when mixture breaks into crumbs sprinkle thickly over cherries.  Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Sweet Dough

Ingredients:

  •    1  cup sifted flour
  • 1/2  cup sugar
  • 1/4  cup butter and lard, mixed (1/8 cup butter & 1/8 cup lard)
  •    1  egg

Directions:

1Mix ingredients into dough, form into ball, and chill.  Roll out lightly on floured board.  Line pie dish with pastry and chill again. 
2For pies with strips on top, reserve 1/3 of the dough and add to it:
1  teaspoon baking powder
2  Tablespoons milk
3Mix again and roll out.  Cut in strips and place on top of pie, all in one direction.  These strips may not be crossed because they puff up. Use for fruit and berry pies.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Cinnamon Bun Cookies


Soft Buttery goodness rolled up with cinnamon deliciousness.
A lovely cookie!


My roll did not turn out as tight as it should have but it still tasted wonderful...it helps if you watch the video on how to make a rolled cookie log. I didn't do it until after the cookies came out of the oven.  That's what I get for being so impatient!  Watch the video! 

cinnamon bun cookies


INGREDIENTS

1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

FOR THE CINNAMON SMEAR

5 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

FOR THE GLAZE

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon water
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugars, salt, zest, and vanilla together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 or 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg, beating well to incorporate.
Turn the mixer down to low and add the flour, mixing until just barely combined.
On a sheet of wax or parchment paper (whatever your preference), roll the dough out to approximately 12" square (or more if you want to get more spirals – see my comment above). When it comes time to roll into a log, the paper makes it easier to lift the edge and handle the dough.

MAKING THE ROLL

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all of the cinnamon smear ingredients and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 or 3 minutes.
Spread the cinnamon mixture on top of the rolled out cookie dough.
Roll the dough into a log shape. Once you get an edge started rolling by just folding it over slightly, you can simply lift the paper edge and use it to guide the dough to continue rolling. There's a video here that shows what I mean about lifting the paper edge to create the roll. The ends of the log will likely be a bit gappy, so you can just smoosh them in to form a flat edge. The first slice from each end will not have the pretty spiral, but there won't be any wasted dough.
Wrap the log in plastic wrap or the parchment paper you used to roll it out and gently squeeze the log to ensure there are no air pockets inside. You can then roll the log a few times to smooth it back out if necessary.
Transfer the dough to the freezer for at least 15-20 minutes, until firm.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F.
Remove the dough log from the freezer and using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1/4" slices. Give the log a quarter roll after each cut so it doesn't develop a flat edge from constantly pressing on the same side.
Transfer the cut slices to your prepared cookie sheets and bake for about 12-14 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, until they’re lightly golden around the edges. Allow to cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before removing the cookies from the pan and allowing them to cool completely.

GLAZING THE COOKIES


Combine all the ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl and whisk together. Add additional water if it seems too thick. Using a pastry brush, apply a thin coat to the top of each cookie. Allow to sit at room temperature to dry completely
Yields approximately 4 dozen cookies

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting: Baked Sunday Mornings





Okay, okay I know I said I wouldn't be back until May 24th... but I just had to bake something for my coworker who is leaving this Saturday.  
I know she likes chocolate chip cookies, so I think she would like these cupcakes.  This is suppose to be a cake, but when I bring something to work I like to make it into easy and manageable portions...so cupcakes it was!  
I did have some batter left, so I made a small 
cake ( hubby will be happy again!) 


This cake is from the Baked Exlorations cookbook.  I missed this one too for some crazy reason or the other.  They describe it as a coffee cake that tastes like a chocolate chip cookie.  I can't say if it does because I have not tasted this one.  (Still juicing...4 more weeks to go!) It looks like a snack cake to me, very much like a carrot cake texture and crumb.  
It looks damn good!

 
The oatmeal that goes in the cake not put in dry, you hydrate it with boiling water and melted butter....oh my!  I love butter in my oatmeal.  That right there made me more hungry than anything else!  Anyway, the oatmeal is added to an egg mixture with the sugars, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Then the flour is added in.  You put vanilla over the chocolate chips and give it a mix, then sprinkle on a little flour and get them all nice and coated. ( I learned this trick from the Barefoot Contessa with the Outrageous Brownies...it is so the chips don't sink to the bottom!) The coated chips are added to the batter.


These are really easy to make.  I baked my cupcakes for 20 minutes and left the cake in for another 10.  The frosting is just your typical cream cheese frosting.  They say you can opt to not frost the cake if you want, but I can't pass up cream cheese frosting...that's just not how I roll.  I made some chocolate chip cookies for decoration.  
I think they look pretty good!  

Recipe is here

The group is making a buttery pound cake with a salted caramel glaze....Oh my!  The sounds so sinfully good.  


Until next time,
Be sweet and Enjoy!


Everyone loved this cake!  I took a taste and yes, it is a keeper! 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scones: Baked Sunday Mornings



Every Easter we go to my sisters house for Brunch and I make scones.  The Baked group is scheduled to make a delicious sounding coconut cake this week so I just had to go rogue because cake, as good as it sounds doesn't fill the bill!  So I scoured through the past Baked recipes that I did not get a chance to partake in and I found these scones.  They are from the Baked Elements cookbook and I remember wanting to try them...not sure why I didn't, but it gave me the perfect excuse to bake them up for Easter.  And so I did!  Everyone enjoyed these yummy treats.  I will definitely add them to my favorite scone recipes!


The recipe only makes 8 scones but I made them smaller because I make two or three kinds then everyone can taste them all.  I only made two kinds this year, the other was a lemon blueberry scone which was delish also!



The oatmeal scones were your typical scone recipe with oats, brown sugar, chocolate chips and chunky peanut butter added to it.  Get the recipe here.
You really should try it...so easy and so delicious!

If you are curious to see what the other bakers did with the Coconut Cake...well, just take a peek here

Until next time,

(Which will be awhile....I am on one of my infamous juice fasts and I am taking it all the way into May.  I will be back for the Red Wine Chocolate Cupcake with Chocolate Glaze....
How good does that sound!!!)

Be sweet and Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Fudgy No Butter Brownies: ABC


The Avid Bakers are getting their challenges from Scientifically Sweet a beautiful baking blog by Christina Marsigliese.  This is my second bake from her recipes, while I was disappointed with the lemon loaf, I was very hesitant to try this recipe not only because of my first failed attempt but because this recipe although it has no butter it has a ridiculous amount of sugar!  I was intrigued because these brownies are made with almond flour so they are gluten free but the 2 cups of confectioners sugar really turned me off.  Well, I love brownies so I thought that I would give it a shot.  I really thought that I would add less sugar 
but I decided to follow the recipe as written. 



Yes, these brownies did turn out very dense and fudgy which I liked.  I even liked the little bits of almonds throughout the brownies from the almond flour, but I should have followed my instinct...these are way too sweet!


I won't be making these again. I wasn't as disappointed with this recipe as I was with the lemon loaf but there was way too much sugar and I missed the butter. Sorry...nothing can beat Ina Garten's Outrageous Brownies.  

I will try the next recipe...Brown Butter Banana Bread.  Sounds delicious.  
We will see!

Until then
Be sweet and 
Enjoy!


Fudgy No-Butter Brownies (gluten-free, dairy-free)
Scientifically Sweet
Makes 16 brownies

2 cups (300 g) icing/confectioner’s sugar
2/3 cup (56 g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
200 g (about 2 cups) ground almonds/almond meal
½ tsp salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg white
2 tbsp water
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
5 oz (about 2/3 cup) best quality dark chocolate chips or chopped bittersweet chocolate, plus extra for topping

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch pan with parchment paper, letting it hang over the edges of pan.

Sift icing sugar and cocoa into a large mixing bowl. Add almond meal and salt and stir to combine. Add whole eggs, egg white, water and vanilla extract and stir until smooth. The batter will be thick. Stir through bittersweet chocolate.

Scrape batter into your prepared pan, smooth the top and scatter extra chocolate over top. Bake until a shiny crust forms and a skewer inserted into the center comes out with a few moist sticky bits, about 25-30 minutes.

Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool slightly. For neat slices, let cool completely before slicing.