Friday, November 27, 2015

Turtle Pumpkin Pie

Erica and I found this recipe on Pinterest and decided it must be made for Thanksgiving. It took me approximately 5 minutes to put together, the night before Thanksgiving, while we were drinking wine and watching Youtube videos of babies farting (seriously look it up - it's hilarious). My family really liked it. I think I should have added a little less nutmeg and a little more cinnamon. We also decided the pecans should be toasted. Erica didn't like the caramel layer on the bottom and suggested maybe just dumping the pecans and caramel on top of the pie. So really, you can do basically anything you want with this recipe.


Turtle Pumpkin Pie

1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping, divided
2 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping, divided
1 HONEY MAID Graham Pie Crust (6 oz.)
1/2 cup chopped PLANTERS Pecans, divided
2 tablespoons chopped PLANTERS Pecans, divided
2 packages JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding (3.4 oz. each)
1 cup cold milk
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tub COOL WHIP Whipped Topping (8 oz.) thawed, divided

POUR 1/4 cup caramel topping into crust; sprinkle with 1/2 cup nuts.

BEAT next 5 ingredients in large bowl with whisk until well blended. Stir in 1-1/2 cups COOL WHIP; spoon into crust.

REFRIGERATE 1 hour. Top with remaining COOL WHIP, caramel topping and nuts just before serving.

Cookie Monday: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

So, for Cookie Monday this week I made some Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. A tried-and-true recipe! They were great for the Monday before Thanksgiving.


I also, on a whim, made a big batch of Spinach Balls, which I then froze. For some reason I had all the ingredients available. I plan to use them for various snacks and meals during the winter.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Kale Feta Egg Toast

Something I learned when making this for dinner is: burned feta cheese smells terrible. Just completely awful.

The recipe says to mix in the feta in a bowl, to the side, after cooking the kale. DO THAT. Don't be lazy and dump the feta into the pan. IT IS NOT GOOD.

However! This little toast is very tasty. I screwed up my fried eggs (due to the burned feta) so mine are more of scrambled egg pieces, but it was still very good. I added a lot of crushed red pepper, which made it lovely. Very quick and easy, and probably has some kind of nutritional content. Yum!


Kale Feta Egg Toast

2 slices English Muffin Bread, sourdough bread, multigrain bread, or English muffin, for serving
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
3 cups chopped kale, stems removed
1 teaspoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
1/8 teaspoon salt, plus additional for seasoning
1/8 teaspoon pepper, plus additional for seasoning
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 large eggs
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Toast bread in a toaster, toaster oven, or beneath a broiler. Set aside.

Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium. Add the kale, stir to coat, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir and cook 1 additional minute. Remove from heat, stir in the feta cheese, then cover to keep warm.

In a small skillet, heat the remaining teaspoon olive oil over medium. Gently crack eggs into skillet and sprinkle with a little extra salt and pepper. Cook until whites are nearly set, about 1 minute. Cover skillet, remove from heat, and let stand until whites are set but yolks are still soft, about 3 minutes.

To serve: Place half of the kale on top of each toast, then top with a fried egg. Serve immediately.

Yield: 2 servings

Monday, November 16, 2015

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

I had this big bag of mini Reese's leftover from Halloween so I decided to make a quick cookie using them up. I liked this recipe because it makes 3 dozen but doesn't require ridiculous amounts of butter. I read the reviews on the Real Simple website and paid close attention to people's suggestions.

Apparently, this was a mediocre-at-best recipe as printed in the magazine. However, some reviewers made some very good suggestions. On their recommendation, I used two eggs instead of one, and I baked the cookies for 9 minutes at 350 instead of 12 minutes at 375. Even just at 350 they were toasty. Any higher temp or longer cooking time and they'd be burned. The egg helps them not to dry out or fall apart, which is nice. The cookies are very flat though. It isn't a terrible thing, but it could be better. I'm not sure what to do to this recipe to encourage puffiness.

Anyway, so here's the takeaway: add an extra egg, bake it at 350 for 9 minutes. Ta-da! Now I will post the recipe as originally printed.

Oh, and I don't have a photo of them because they just did not photograph well at all so I gave up.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
Real Simple, October 2009

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick) at room temperature
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
12 ounces small peanut butter cups, coarsely chopped

Heat oven to 375° F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat to combine. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Fold in the peanut butter cups.

Drop tablespoon-size mounds of dough 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake until light brown around the edges, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a baking rack to cool.

Yield: about 3 dozen

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl

Last week was my last CSA pickup for the season. I used up a bunch of the bounty in this buddha bowl - sweet potatoes, onion, kale, and broccoli (instead of the broccolini). The sweet potatoes took WAY longer to cook than the recipe suggests. I actually ended up microwaving them after roasting for awhile because everything else was done and they were still hard. I really liked the chickpeas. They had a nice flavor and texture. I would make them again to throw in with other vegetable bowls. I didn't really like the tahini sauce, but you could easily omit it or replace it with something else. I felt like it was just a little too sweet. Mine also did not end up as thick as the original post suggests. This was pretty good but I don't think I'd make it again.


Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl
Minimalist Baker

2 Tbsp olive, melted coconut, or grape seed oil
1/2 red onion, sliced in wedges
2 large sweet potatoes, halved
1 bundle broccolini (227 g) large stems removed, chopped
2 big handfuls kale, larger stems removed
1/4 tsp salt + pepper

1 15 ounce chickpeas (425 g) drained, rinsed + patted dry
1 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt + pepper
1/2 tsp oregano (optional)
1/4 tsp turmeric (optional)

Tahini Sauce
1/4 cup tahini (56 g)
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 Tbsp hot water to thin (2 to 4)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and arrange sweet potatoes and onions on a bare baking sheet. Drizzle both with a bit of oil, making sure the flesh of the sweet potatoes are well coated and placed skin side down on the sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven flip sweet potatoes and add broccolini. Drizzle broccolini with a bit of oil and season with a pinch each salt and pepper.

Bake for another 8-10 minutes, then remove from oven and add kale. Drizzle kale with a touch more oil and season with a pinch each salt and pepper. Bake for another 4-5 minutes then set aside.

While vegetables are roasting, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add chickpeas to a mixing bowl and toss with seasonings.

Once hot, add 1 Tbsp oil and chickpeas and sauté, stirring frequently. If they're browning too quickly, turn down heat. If there isn't much browning going on, increase heat. I found 10 minutes total at slightly over medium heat was perfect.

Once the chickpeas are browned and fragrant, remove from heat and set aside.

Prepare sauce by adding tahini, maple syrup and lemon juice to a mixing bowl and whisking to combine. Add hot water until a pourable sauce is formed. Set aside.

To serve: Slice sweet potatoes into bite size pieces. Divide vegetables between 3 serving bowls and top with chickpeas + tahini sauce.

Servings: 2-3

Monday, November 09, 2015

Apple Cider Cookies

A couple weeks ago I visited Clyde's Cider Mill in Old Mystic CT with my boyfriend and have been on a little apple cider kick since then. I'm finally in the mood for it to really be fall, so might as well embrace all the apple and cinnamon. (Still not so much on the pumpkin.)

SO the big secret in these cookies is that the apple flavor comes from a packet of apple cider mix. They're like 75 cents at the grocery store in the drink aisle. I used this one from Mott's because it's what my grocery store carried. Fine. The other secret is the cinnamon chips. I don't know why anyone would use butterscotch, as mentioned in the recipe. Cinnamon all the way.

And then they're rolled in cinnamon and sugar like a little snickerdoodle! Amazing. I made the cookies fairly small, so I got about 4 dozen cookies. Everyone seemed to like them a lot! I thought they were delicious. Very appley. Very cinnamony. Yum! I would make these again.


Apple Cider Cookies
The Three-Bite Rule

1 cup butter
6 tbsp sugar
1 individual serving size packet hot cider
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups flour
1 tbsp milk
1 1/2 cups butterscotch or cinnamon chips
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Beat butter, sugar, cider mix, vanilla, milk, and salt.

Add flour in and mix until well combined.

Mix in chips by hand.

Roll cookie dough in 1-inch balls into mixed cinnamon and sugar.

Bake 9 minutes and let cool on cooling racks.

Crispy Baked Peanut Tofu

It was only after I started preparing for this recipe that I realized the cauliflower was going to be made into a faux rice, so I'll post the original recipe, but I will confess I did not make cauliflower rice. Instead, I put the cauliflower back in the freezer and made some instant brown rice instead. No regrets. I did use bok choy from the farm (tomorrow is the last pickup, wah) and some "extra crunchy" peanut butter (BEST).

The tofu was a nice texture from the draining and baking and pan-searing. I liked it. The tofu did start to burn in the pan pretty quickly so be careful when you're adding the sauce. Maybe next time I'll try the cauliflower rice. Just kidding! I will probably never do that. Carbs for life.


Crispy Baked Peanut Tofu
Minimalist Baker

12 ounces extra firm tofu
1 Tbsp Toasted sesame oil

1 small head cauliflower
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp Toasted sesame oil

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
4 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce
2 1/2 Tbsp peanut butter or almond butter

Veggies (baby bok choy, green onion, red pepper, broccoli)
Toppings: Fresh lime juice, cilantro, sriracha

Begin by draining tofu 1.5 hours before you want your meal ready. If your block of tofu is larger than 12 ounces, trim it down. You don't need a full pound for this recipe.

Roll tofu in an absorbent towel several times and then place something heavy on top to press for 15 minutes.

Near the end of draining, preheat oven to 400 degrees F and cube tofu. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and arrange in a single layer. Bake for 25 minutes to dry/firm the tofu. Once baked, remove from oven and let cool.

Prepare sauce by whisking together ingredients until combined. Taste and adjust flavor as needed.

Add cooled tofu to the sauce and stir to coat. Let marinate for at least 15 minutes to saturate the tofu and infuse the flavor.

In the meantime, shred your cauliflower into rice by using a large grater or food processor. You don't want it too fine, just somewhat close to the texture of rice. Set aside. Mince garlic if you haven't already done so, and prepare any veggies you want to add to the dish (optional).

Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat (6 out of 10), and if adding any veggies to your dish, cook them now in a bit of sesame oil and a dash of soy sauce. Remove from pan and set aside and cover to keep warm.

Use a slotted spoon to spoon tofu into the preheated pan. Add a few spoonfuls of the sauce to coat. Cook, stirring frequently for a few minutes until browned. It will stick to the pan a bit, so don't worry. Remove from pan and set aside and cover to keep warm.

Rinse your pan under very hot water water and scrape away any residue. Place back on oven.

Add a drizzle of sesame oil to the pan, then add garlic and cauliflower rice and stir. Put cover on to steam the "rice." Cook for about 5-8 minutes until slightly browned and tender, stirring occasionally. Then add a few spoonfuls of sauce to season and stir.

Place cauliflower rice and top with veggies and tofu. Serve with any leftover sauce. Leftovers reheat well and will keep covered in the fridge for up to a couple days.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Maple-Mustard Tempeh with Collard Greens

I'm still on this weird tempeh kick. I've been cooking with it more than I have been using tofu or beans, and I've mostly eliminated processed soy products (with exceptions). Not sure why this has happened. Tempeh is weird. It smells funny, it's kind of fermenty, and it has a weird texture. Nothing about it seems appetizing, but it translates well into meals. I made a reuben with tempeh slices the other day and it was amazing.

Anyway so since I had tempeh and collard greens, this seemed like a natural choice for dinner yesterday. I didn't have any orange juice, but I did have some apple cider, so I used that instead. The cinnamon gives the marinade an interesting flavor, but you should definitely go easy on it. I also wondered if I could have crisped up the tempeh a little more in a pan. Maybe it's just because I like burned things. Mysteries. I don't think I would make this again but it was a nice, easy dinner.


Glazed Maple-Mustard Tempeh Strips with Collards
Vegetarian Times

2 pkg. tempeh (8 oz.) sliced into 1/2-inch strips
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup safflower oil, divided
2 Tbs. ketchup
2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 Tbs. sriracha sauce
1 Tbs. low-sodium tamari
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
2 bunches collard greens (12 oz.) stems and ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced
2 cups frozen fire roasted corn, thawed

Place tempeh strips in medium heat-proof bowl. Set aside.

Whisk together maple syrup, orange juice, 2 Tbs. oil, ketchup, mustard, sriracha, tamari, pepper, and cinnamon in medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Pour hot mixture over tempeh strips, cover, and let marinate 30 minutes, or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with foil, and coat with cooking spray. Arrange marinated tempeh strips on prepared baking sheet; reserve marinade. Cover baking sheet tightly with foil, and bake 15 minutes. Remove foil, and flip tempeh pieces. Bake, uncovered, 5 minutes more, or until tempeh is slightly browned. Remove from oven, and brush tempeh with remaining glaze.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 Tbs. oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, and cook 30 seconds. Add collard greens in two batches, wilting first batch before adding second. Stir in corn, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cook 5 to 7 minutes or until greens are tender, stirring occasionally. Serve topped with tempeh slices.

Yield: 6 servings