Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bacon-Corn Chowder with Shrimp

I decided to make this soup on a whim tonight because I had most of the ingredients on hand and it looked delicious.  Seriously, you can never go wrong with big chunks of bacon!  This soup came together pretty quickly and is super yummy.  I love the smokiness that the bacon adds.  It also doesn't hurt that one serving is 294 calories.  Thank you Cooking Light~
Bacon-Corn Chowder with Shrimp

Bacon-Corn Chowder with Shrimp
Cooking Light, August Issue, pg. 26

6 slices center-cut bacon, chopped
1 cup prechopped onion
1/2 cup prechopped celery
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels, thawed
2 cups fat-free, lower sodium chicken broth
3/4 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
1/3 cup half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add bacon to pan; saute 4 minutes or until the bacon begins to brown.  Remove 2 slices bacon.  Drain on paper towels.  Add onion and next 3 ingredients (through minced garlic) to pan, and saute for 2 minutes.  Add corn, and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add broth; bring to a boil, and cook for 4 minutes.
2. Place 2 cups of corn mixture in a blender.  Remove the center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape), and secure lid on blender.  Place a clean towel over opening in the blend lid (to avoid splatters).  Blend until smooth.  Return pureed corn mixture to pan.  Stir in shrimp; cook 2 minutes or until shrimp are done.  Stir in half-and-half, pepper, and salt.  Crumble reserved bacon over soup.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 2/3 cups)

Nutrition Info:
Calories: 294
Fat: 7g (sat 2.7g, mono 1.3g, poly 1.2g)
Protein: 26.8g
Carb: 34.8g
Fiber: 4.3g
Chol: 144mg
Iron: 31mg
Sodium: 547mg
Calc: 94mg

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Peach Streusel Coffee Cake

I've been on quite the baking spree lately!  I'm guessing it's due to the fact that all of the Williams-Sonoma cookbooks I have are filled with scrumptious, mouth-watering photos.

I'm definitely planning to bake this again~ it's simple to pull together and would also taste great with other fresh fruits.  Fresh raspberries maybe?

Peach Struesel Coffee Cake

Peach Streusel Coffee Cake
The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book, pg. 131

Makes one 9-inch cake

For the Streusel:
3/4 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

For the cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp pure almond extract
2 firm, ripe peaches, 1 lb total, peeled, pitted, and sliced 1 inch thick

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Grease and flour a 9-inch round springform pan or square baking pan or baking dish.  If using a glass baking dish, set the oven temperature to 325F.

To make the streusel, in a bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cinnamon.  Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut or rub in the butter until coarse crumbs form.

To make the cake, in a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

In another bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed or a wire whisk, beat the egg, melted butter, milk, vanilla, and almond extract until creamy, about 1 minute.  Add to the flour mixture and beat just until evenly moistened.  There should be no lumps or dry spots.  Do not over mix.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly.  If using a springform pan, arrange the peach slices in concentric circles from the pan sides to the center.  If using a square pan, arrange slices in rows.  Gently press the slices into the batter.  Sprinkle evenly with the streusel.

Bake until the topping is golden brown, 40-45 minutes.  A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes.  Remove the sides of the springform pan, if using.  Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into wedges or squares.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Steamed Salmon with Charmoula

Mouthwatering...this isn't the overcooked, dry piece of salmon you're used to eating.  It's so much more.



I stumbled on this recipe in The Williams-Sonoma Cookbook: The Essential Recipe Collection For Today's Home Cook the other night when looking for "light" recipes my dad would enjoy for Father's Day.  I decided to stick with fish and this particular recipe stood out to me with all of the fresh herbs, lemon juice, and spice blend.  I decided to give it a try and let me tell you, it is super flavorful, quick, and delicious.

The cookbook gives a brief history on the "Charmoula" sauce:

Charmoula is a classic Moroccan preparation that can be used as a marinade or a sauce and is commonly served with fish.  It features many familiar Mediterranean ingredients, but extra doses of paprika and cumin give it a distinctly North African character.  To make the sauce without a food processor, mince the garlic or crush it through a press, chop the cilantro and parsley leaves finely, and combine with garlic and herbs in a glass or ceramic bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth.

Everyone, including my picky husband, loved the flavor of the sauce and said they would "definitely eat this again".  One thing to note, I didn't have time to marinate the fish beforehand and it still tasted great.

Steamed Salmon with Charmoula
Williams-Sonoma Cookbook, pg. 172
Makes 4 Servings

4 cloves garlic
1/3 cup firmly packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/3 cup firmly packed fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley leaves
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (I only had lime juice on hand and it still tastes bright and fresh)
1 1/2 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 center-cut salmon fillets, about 6oz. each, skin removed

To make the Charmoula, with the motor of a food processor running, add the garlic cloves one at a time until finely minced.  Then add the cilantro, parsley, lemon juice, 1 tsp. salt, the paprika, cumin, and cayenne to taste and puree until smooth.  Slowly add the oil, processing until smooth and emulsified.  Measure out 3 Tbsp of the sauce and reserve.  Put the remaining sauce in a serving bowl, cover, and refrigerate.  Put the salmon on a platter and rub both sides of the fish with the 3 Tbsp sauce.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerated for at least 2 hours.

Remove the fish and the remaining sauce from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.  Pour water to a depth of 1 inch in a large steamer pan or other large pot and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.  Set a steamer rack or other large, round rack over the simmering water.  Arrange the salmon fillets on a heatproof plate, place the plate on the rack, cover the pan tightly, and steam until the fish is firm to the touch and is barely opaque when tested with a knife, about 8 minutes {I brought the water to a boil, and then added the fish to a steamer basket that sat inside by soup pot and left the temp on medium-high, and worked just fine}.  Transfer the fish to warmed individual plates and top each fillet with a generous spoonful of the charmoula.  Pass the remaining sauce at the table.

I served the salmon over a couple spoonfuls of couscous and some grilled asparagus.  you decide to make this, please let me know what you think!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mango-Coconut Sherbet

This Mango-Coconut Sherbet is pretty much amazing.  I've had my KitchenAid Ice Cream Mixer attachment for over a year or two now, but I've never attempted to make any sherbets!  I was also pleased that this recipe comes together so quickly.  As long as you have your ice cream maker ready, all you need to do is puree the ingredients and then churn!  Within 30 minutes you could be enjoying some homemade goodness.

You can find this recipe in the June 2011 issue of Cooking Light (love that magazine!).

Mango-Coconut Sherbet
Cooking Light, June 2011

2 cups cubed peeled diced mango
1 (13.5 ounce) can of light coconut-milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice 
1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut, toasted

Combine cubed mango, sugar, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and coconut milk in a blender; process until mixture is smooth, scraping sides as necessary. Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer, and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions to soft-serve consistency. Spoon sherbet into a freezer-safe container; cover and freeze 2 hours or until firm. Sprinkle each serving with coconut. 

Nutrition Information:
Cal: 171
Fat: 4.1g
Sat Fat: 3.8g
Mono Fat: 0.1g
Poly Fat: 0g
Protein: 1.1g
Carb: 35.4g
Fiber: 1g
Chol: 0mg
Iron: 0.4mg
Sodium: 26mg
Calcium: 4mg

Friday, May 6, 2011

Angel Food Cake Cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Each month I bake cupcakes for a co-worker who purchased the "Cupcake Package" at our company's United Way auction last fall.  This month she asked for a Angel Food Cake Cupcake with some sort of berry frosting.  I ended up baking this "Heavenly Shortcake" cake recipe and adding a Vanilla American Buttercream frosting with a couple of fresh blueberries on top.  Although it tasted good, it was too sweet for my liking.  I've decided I'm a fan of Swiss Meringue Buttercream because of its velvety texture and subtle sweetness. 

Within a couple of days I decided to bring these cupcakes over to my in-laws for dessert on Easter.  I used the same cake batter recipe, but changed the frosting to a Fresh Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  Let's just say, this combo rocks.  It's a spin off of Strawberry Shortcake dessert, but wrapped up in a cute cupcake.  I highly recommend making these for your next event.  They are light, fresh tasting, and not too sweet (the whole family loved them).  The buttercream has egg whites in it so I recommend making it the day of the event and if it needs to sit out for a while, just throw it in the refrigerator.  An hour or so before serving pull the cupcakes out and let them come to room temperature.

Heavenly Angel Food Cake


12 eggs
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar


Separate eggs; discard yolks or refrigerate for another use. Measure egg whites, adding or removing whites as needed to equal 1-1/2 cups. Place in a mixing bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.               

Meanwhile, sift confectioners' sugar and flour together three times; set aside. Add cream of tartar, extracts and salt to egg whites; beat on high speed. Gradually add sugar, beating until sugar is dissolved and stiff peaks form. Fold in flour mixture, 1/4 cup at a time. Gently spoon into lined cupcake tin. Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Let cool completely before removing cupcakes from pan.
Fresh Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
"Martha Stewart's Cupcakes" cookbook
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries (8 oz.), rinsed, hulled and coarsely chopped
4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, at room temperature
Puree the strawberries in your food processor until completely smooth (or you can chop them really fine for larger chunks).  Add the egg whites and sugar to the bowl of your stand mixer (or any heatproof bowl) and set it over a pan of simmering water.  Heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar has dissolved - you can test with your fingertips, if the mixture feels grainy, it's not ready yet.

Attach the bowl to your stand mixer (or transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer if you used a separate bowl) fitted with the whisk attachment.  Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks
form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 6-10 minutes. (The bowl
will be cool to the touch.) Reduce the mixer to medium-low speed and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time.  Let each addition incorporate before adding the next.  (The frosting may look soupy or curdled once you add the butter - just keep beating and it will come together.)  Scrape down the sides of
the bowl with a rubber spatula, then add the strawberry puree to the bowl.  Beat until combined - the mixture will probably look curdled again when you add the strawberries, keep beating!)

Pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes with a large star tip and garnish with extra strawberries, if desired.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Turkey Marinara Burger

This burger was fantastic!  The turkey stays moist and flavorful, few ingredients are needed, and it tastes great.  Enjoy...

To start, combine 1 package of Jenny-O 93/7 Lean Ground Turkey with an Italian seasoning blend.  I decided to add dried parsley, some roasted garlic, fresh basil (the kind you find in a tube, it's weird I know), and s&p.  I also added some red pepper flakes to give it a little kick.  Once combined, add 1 egg and 1/3 cup of panko bread crumbs (or any bread crumbs).  Combine until all ingredients are incorporated and shape into four patties.

Then in a deep dish skillet over medium high, heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil.  Grill the burgers until brown on the first side, then flip and brown on the other side.  Warning!  Don't flatten the burger with the back of your spatula!  It forces all those yummy juices out of the burger and makes the burger dry later on, gross.  Once the burger is browned on both sides, add one jar of premade marinara sauce.  Lift the patties up slightly so it rests on top of the marinara, but is covered slightly as well (if that makes sense).  Cover partially and let cook for 10 minutes or until a thermometer reads 165F when inserted in the center of one patty.

Once the burgers are cooked through, add to a toasted bun (I only had sesame on hand, but I recommend ciabatta) and top with a couple spoonfuls of marinara.  Top with a couple slices of fresh mozzarella (or 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella).  Place on a cookie sheet and broil until the cheese melts.

Enjoy!  I didn't go to the store to grab any of the ingredients (tried to use only what I had on hand), but if I were to make it again (I plan on it) then I would swap the sesame bun for ciabatta and add fresh basil to the finished burger.  I can't get over how moist and delicious these burgers were.... if you give it a try please let me know what you think!

Turkey Marinara Burger
Alyssa's Two Bites, April 2011

1 package Jenny-O 93/7 Lean Ground Turkey meat
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped or squeezed from tube (tubes can be found in produce section near packaged fresh herbs)
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. roasted garlic (used the jarred roasted garlic you can find in the produce section, I would substitute with fresh garlic or garlic powder if needed)
1/2 tsp. red pepper flake
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 egg
1/3 cup bread crumbs (I used Panko)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 jar Marinara sauce (I used Barilla classic marinara)
4 ciabatta buns (or one loaf of ciabatta cut into four slices to make buns)
Mozzarella cheese (2 slices per burger)
Fresh Basil

1. Combine ground turkey, all seasonings, egg, and bread crumbs.  Shape into four burger patties.
2. Heat olive oil in deep skillet over medium-high heat.  Add burgers and cook 1-2 minutes on each side, until brown.  Once browned on both sides, add entire jar of marinara sauce and lift each burger patty so the burger rests on top of the marinara, but is still covered slightly.  Partially cover and cook for 10 minutes or until internal temperature of turkey burger is 165F.
3. Toast ciabatta and add burger with a couple spoonfuls of marinara.  Top with 2 slices of mozzarella and broil until cheese melts.  Add a couple fresh basil leaves and enjoy!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Blueberry-Almond French Toast Bake

There is nothing like the smell of cinnamon and a sweet french toast bake infusing the house early on a Saturday morning, nothing!  I found this recipe in Ellie Krieger's So Easy cookbook last night and decided it would be the perfect Saturday morning breakfast for my niece Shelby who is 11 years old.  I invited her over for a girls night, to which consisted of making chocolate chip cookies, dance battles on the Kinect, and lots of laughs!  I hope you enjoy this recipe, it's healthy and super easy to make.




Blueberry-Almond French Toast Bake
Ellie Krieger, So Easy, pg. 55

Makes 8 servings


Cooking Spray
1 whole-wheat baguette (about 18 inches long, 8 ounces), cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups low-fat (1%) milk
8 large eggs
8 large egg whites
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/3 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar


Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.  Arrange the bread in a single layer in the baking pan.  Whisk together the milk, eggs, egg whites, maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Pour the egg mixture over the bread in the pan, spreading it around so the liquid saturates the bread.  Scatter the blueberries evenly on top.  Sprinkle with the almonds and brown sugar.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.  Preheat the oven to 350F.  Uncover and bake for 50 to 60 minutes.  Serve hot.

Nutrition Information:
Serving Size: 1 4x3-inch piece

Per Serving:
Calories: 270
Total Fat: 8g (sat 2.5, mono 2, poly .75)
Protein: 16g
Carb: 35g
Fiber: 3g
Cholesterol: 220mg
Sodium: 280mg

Excellent source of: Iodine, Manganese, Protein, Riboflavin, and Selenium
Good source of: Calcium, Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Vitamin K, Zinc

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Shrimp Thai Pasta

I usually try to make a handful of recipes each month out of the Cooking Light magazine and this month I found a recipe for Shrimp Pad Thai.  I didn't have any rice noodles on hand, but decided to substitute with some organic whole wheat fettuccine.  The one thing I recommend is to wait until the water starts boiling to begin making the sauce.  I started the sauce too early which was fine, but you risk overcooking the shrimp if you're not careful.
Heat up a pot of water for the noodles (or pasta).  While the water is heating, combine sugar and the next 4 ingredients (through Siracha) in a small bowl.

Adding the lower-sodium soy sauce...

and fish sauce (and lime juice)...

and Sriracha (my favorite!).

Then, dice up some green onions and mince the garlic (I used a press).  You also need to peel and devein some shrimp.

Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.  Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add onion pieces, shrimp, and garlic; stir-fry 2 minutes or until shrimp is almost done.


Then you are supposed to add the cooked noodles, toss to combine, and then add the sauce, but my noodles were still cooking so I added the sauce first (it still tasted great).

Once the noodles are ready, toss with saucy shrimp mixture so all of the noodles get coated.  Transfer to a plate, top with fresh bean sprouts, chopped peanuts, and some thinly sliced fresh basil (which I'm missing) and enjoy!

If you like spicy food then I would probably bump up the amount of Sriracha to your liking.  I've made this a couple of times, bumping up the amount of Sriracha each time and I haven't quite found the perfect amount.  If you decide to make it let me know what you think!

Shrimp Pad Thai
Cooking Light, March 2011 pg. 123

8 ounces uncooked flat rice noodles (or pad Thai noodles)
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon Sriracha
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup (2-inch) green onion pieces (I chopped mine smaller)
8 ounces peeled and deveined large shrimp
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1/4 cup chopped unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

1. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain.
2. While water comes to a boil, combine sugar and next 4 ingredients (through Sriracha) in a small bowl.
3. Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.  Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add onion pieces, shrimp, and garlic; stir-fry 2 minutes or until shrimp is almost done.  Add cooked noodles; toss to combine.  Stir in sauce; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly to combine.  Arrange about 1 cup noodle mixture on each of the 4 plates; top each serving with 1/4 cup bean sprouts,1 tablespoon peanuts, and 2 teaspoons basil.

It's a little high on sodium, but for a "take out" style dish, much less than you would actually get from a restaurant. 

Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Info:

Calories 462
Fat 16.1g (sat 1.6g, mono 9.1g, poly 4.8g)
Protein 15.8g
Carb 64.3g
Fiber 2.6g
Chol 86mg
Iron 3.7mg
Sodium 779mg
Calcium 90mg

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Adele's Brownies

While I was in London the week before last, one of the girls I met, Adele, brought in these delicious brownies!  They are super fudgy and easy to make.
I decided to make them for my client's birthday on Friday and everyone who tried them thought they tasted great.  Kyle was less of a fan, but it's probably because they are made with more cocoa powder than normal brownie recipes, so more on the bitter side, but they still taste great.  Enjoy!

First you will need to melt the butter, then add in "caster" sugar which is superfine sugar sold in Britain.  You can either buy the sugar online, use regular granulated sugar (what I did), or you can add sugar to a food processor and process for a few minutes to make it more fine.

Mix, mix, mix...

The add in some vanilla extract...

And some cocoa powder (use a high quality cocoa powder if possible)...

Mix, mix, mix...

Add in the baking powder...

And flour, and mix, mix, mix!

Keep mixing!

Add in the eggs...

And mix until everything is combined.

Add in the chocolate chips and mix again.

Pour into a square baking dish, sprayed with cooking spray or rubbed with butter.

Bake and enjoy (full recipe below)!
IMG_0836 ed

Mmmmmmm...!  This picture came out WAY over exposed, so pardon the post production editing (it still looks funny to me, but wanted to share the finished brownie regardless).

The ingredients are in grams, which I don't cook with in the states, but if you go online to Bing and search for "gram conversion" you can see the equivalent in ounces, etc.  I had a scale that measured in grams so I was good to go!

These are so good! Thanks Adele!

Adele's Brownies
Serves 16-20

250g butter, melted
300g caster sugar
60g flour
80g good quality cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs, beaten (I just added them whole and stirred into the mix and it turned out fine)
200g chocolate chips

Mix the melted butter, sugar, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, baking powder, and flour together.  Then add in the eggs.  The mixture will seem really runny, but don't worry.  Then add in the chocolate chips.  Put into a lined square tin.   Bake in a low oven (160 oC or 325F) for 40 minutes or until cooked through (do the spike test... when it comes out clean they're ready).  Cool and cut into bite sized chunks!