Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tofu Parm Two Ways

I love when things do double duty. You know, kill two birds with one stone. Initially I hadn't planned this to serve us twice but it did!

The first night we had tofu parmesan sandwiches. I found this recipe from Hannaford Fresh Magazine (which I adore). It's rare that you find tofu recipes in the magazine but when you do, they are good! These were messy but oh so delicious and satisfying. And best of all, healthy!

The next night I made myself tofu parmesan with penne and fresh tomatoes drizzled with some olive oil. This worked out so well. I just baked the tofu to get it crisp again and then added the sauce and mozzarella towards the end. Perfect.

Tofu Parmesan Sandwiches
Source: Hannaford Fresh Magazine
Yield: Two sandwiches and leftovers

1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 clove garlic, smashed
8 fresh basil leaves, torn
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 large egg
1 package firm tofu, drained and sliced into 8 pieces
2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Ciabatta bread
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 pound baby spinach (about 8 cups)
Preheat the broiler. Combine the tomatoes, garlic, basil and 1 cup water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.

Toss the breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons parmesan and the Italian seasoning on a plate; season with salt and pepper. Beat the egg in a shallow bowl. Dip the tofu in the egg, then in the crumbs, turning to coat.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the tofu and cook until crisp, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Place the bread cut-side up on a broiler pan; spread the bottom halves with sauce, then top with tofu, more sauce, the mozzarella and remaining parmesan. Broil until the cheese melts and the bread is toasted, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in the empty skillet over medium-high heat. Add the spinach, season with salt and pepper and let wilt, about 1 minute. Place on top of the cheese and cover with the bread tops.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Baked Stuffed Apples

This is a dessert that I was able to get my skinny mini husband to eat!!

These baked apples where a wonderful way to finish off a meal in the fall. They aren't heavy or too filling. I drizzled mine with a bit of caramel but the filling is sweet enough that you don't need to. Adding a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream would be yummy too.

Oh, and I added raisins to ours. Yum.

Baked Stuffed Apples
Source: The Family Kitchen
Yield: 4 servings

4 apples (recommended: Fuji or McIntosh)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup chopped pecans or almonds (I used walnuts)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup maple syrup

Slice the top of each apple off, then hollow the center of the apples out with a paring knife. Brush lemon juice across the top of the apples to keep them from turning brown. Place the apples in a baking dish.

In a large bowl, combine flour, butter, sugar, oats, pecans, and cinnamon. Use a fork to combine until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Spoon the mixture generously into each apple. Drizzle each with maple syrup.

Place about 1/4 inch of water into the bottom of the baking dish. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until the crumble on top of the apples is golden brown, and the apples are soft.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pretzel M&M Cookies

Pretzel M&Ms. Add a little peanut butter and we are talking! I thought the M&Ms were pretty good. I wouldn't sit down and eat a whole bunch but in these cookies I thought they were great. The cookies were chewy and had a nice crunch of pretzel. The girls at book club thought they were great! I love sharing my treats with them.

Pretzel M&M Cookies
Source: Bakegirl
Yield: 24 cookies

1 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups pretzel M&Ms
1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks or chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, optional

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Cream together the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add to the butter mixture and mix together well.

Stir in chocolate chunks and M&Ms, adding more of each if desired.

Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookies

Pumpkin everywhere! I can't get enough of it. This kid is going to come out orange! Or maybe chocolate colored.

This is another treat that I brought into the office to share. I wasn't sure how the butterscotch chips would go with the pumpkin but it was fabulous. This cookie is nice and soft and fresh out of the oven the chips are so smooth and melty. Mmhmm.

Pumpkin Butterscoth Cookies
Source: Joy the Baker
Yield: 2 dozen or so

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola or corn oil
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup butterscotch chips

Position a rack in the middle of the oven . Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and butter the paper.

Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar until smooth and lightened in color, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. On low speed, mix the oil, pumpkin, and vanilla until blended. Mix in the flour mixture to incorporate it. Mix in the chips.

Using an ice cream scoop with a 1/4-cup capacity, scoop mounds of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies at least 2 1/2-inches apart. You could also simply use a 1/4-cup measuring cup if you don’t have a scoop. Use a thin metal spatula to smooth and flatten the rounds.

Bake the cookies one sheet at a time until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, about 16 minutes. Cool them on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then use a wide metal spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool cimpletely.

Dust the cooled cookies lightly with powdered sugar. The cookies can be stored in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made these awesome cookies last year and can't believe I never told you about them! They are soft and pumpkiny but the best part is the melty chocolate chips that pair so well with the pumpkin flavor. Oh. And they come together really quick and easy...which is nice when you are 38 weeks pregnant!

These are one of my most favorite pumpkin treats to make. Thanks to Lori G. for the recipe!!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Source: Lori G.
Yield: 2 dozen

2 1/2 cups flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)

Preheat oven to 350*. Grease or line two baking sheets.

Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Beat together the sugar and butter until well blended. Add in pumpkin, egg and vinilla, beat until smooth. Gradually add in the dry mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop onto prepared baking sheets. I used the cookie scoop and it was perfect. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until edges are firm.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chocolate Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Last weekend I had two girlfriends over for lunch. I made a fabulous spicy sweet potato soup and served it with a sesame bread. Then for dessert I was so excited to make pumpkin whoopie pies. I was going to try a new recipe that I found in Bon Appetit last year. What a flop. The cake part of the whoopie was flat as a pancake and the filling was boring. I was so disappointment. But I'm glad I tried it out so now I won't wonder about that recipe.

Anyway, we are here to talk about these chocolate whoopie pies. These were wonderful. The cake part is perfection. The middle was pretty good. I did add more powdered sugar to sweeten it and thicken the filling. Other than that...perfect.

I brought these into the office and they were gone in a flash.

Chocolate Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Source: Burn Me Not
Yield: 12 decent sized whoopie pies

For the cookies
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the filling
4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners sugar (I added another 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup canned solid pumpkin
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375°. Line baking sheet with non-stick baking mat or parchment paper; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine butter, shortening, and both sugars. Using the paddle attachment, mix on high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add egg; mix until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in half the flour mixture, then milk and vanilla, and finish with the remaining flour mixture.

Drop about a tablespoon of dough onto prepared baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake 12-14 minutes or until cookies spring back when lightly touched. Place baking sheet on wire rack and let cool 5-10 minutes. Remove cookies from baking sheet and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, butter, and confectioners sugar on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix until smooth, scraping down bowl as necessary.

Pipe or spoon filling on the flat sides of half the cookies then sandwich with remaining cookies.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Scoop

This is my new favorite baking tool. The cookie scoop. I've been eyeing them for years and finally I drove my butt down to South Portland to Wililams Sonoma and bought two. One medium sized and one larger. These have simplified my life so much. The larger scoop fills a cupcake liner perfectly. The smaller one makes perfect sized whoopie pie cakes. No more mismatched sizes! I've also used both sizes for cookies, like chocolate chip.

I don't know how I survived without one of these!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I Love My Runner

For the entire spring and summer my husband as been getting up at the crack of dawn to run. He ran his first marathon last November in Philly. Loved it and ran the marathon at Sugarloaf. Then signed up to run the Maine Marathon with the goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon in April. To do so, at his age, he must run 26.2 miles in 3 hours and 10 minutes. He trained so hard all summer. On days when it was 80 degrees at 6:00AM he was on the rail trail putting in his miles. "Do work, get fast." is what he says. And it all paid off. We will be going to Boston in April.

Momma and Abe were waiting at the finishline!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Puffs

Need a dessert in a pinch? This is perfect. These are super dreamy and they come together so quickly. Just pick up some puff pastry and by the time you are home it might be thawed enough for use. Or just put it in the fridge in the morning and make these at night.

Make sure to serve these warm. The peanut butter and chocolate are all gooey and delicious.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Puffs
Source: Joy the Baker
Yield: A dozen or so?

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed and rolled out just slightly
1/3 to 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup chocolate chunks or chips
water for brushing the edges of the pastry
cream or half and half for brushing the tops of the pastry
granulated sugar for sprinkling on top of the pastry

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Thaw frozen puff pastry in the the fridge. When no longer frozen gently roll out puff pastry on a well floured surface, extending the puff pastry about an inch on all sides.

Fold the puff pastry in half like a book to create a crease. Cut along the crease with a pizza slicer to divide the puff pastry in half. Stack the two halves, then slice the pastry into two sheets of 18 even squares. Remove the top squares from the bottom squares and set them aside for later.

Using a small spoon, dollop a small amount (about a heaping 1/2 teaspoon) of peanut butter into the center of 18 of the puff pastry squares. Top each mound of peanut butter with about 5 chocolate chips.

Using a pastry brush (or your finger if you don’t have a brush) dampen the edges of each square with a bit of water. Top each square with another pastry square and use a fork to crimp and seal the edges of the pastry. Make sure the edges are well sealed or all the filling goodness will pop out during baking.

Place filled and sealed pastry squares on a foil lined and lightly greased baking sheet. Brush each square with cream and sprinkle generously with granulated sugar.

Bake the squares for 8 to 12 minutes or until they are perfectly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving warm.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mocha Brownies

Another brownie post? Yep. I do love my brownies. Frosted or not.

Now these, with this wonderful mocha frosting, are wonderful. You've got to have a sweet tooth for these. Luckily. I have a sweet tooth. Actually, I have a whole mouth full of them! (my dentist and I don't get along well)

Mocha Frosted Brownies
Source: Blog Chef
Yield: 24ish

½ cup shortening
½ cup butter
1 cup cocoa
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon hot water
4 teaspoons instant coffee
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup flour
½ teaspoon salt

½ cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
1 ½ tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons instant coffee

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13” baking dish with tin foil and lightly grease It lightly. Melt butter and shortening in the microwave or on the stove top.

Pour melted butter and shortening into a large mixing bowl. Add cocoa and blend in well. Add sugar and mix well. Dissolve instant coffee in tablespoon of hot water and mix into the cocoa mixture. Add eggs one at a time and beat in well by hand. Stir in vanilla, flour and salt. Pour mixture into the baking dish and spread out evenly.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to fully cool.

While brownies are cooling make the frosting. In a bowl cream butter and vanilla. Add powdered sugar and beat on medium speed. Dissolve instant coffee in milk and add to the mixture. Beat until lightly and fluffy. Spread the frosting over the cooled brownies.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Chocolate Walnut Fudge

I wanted to make chocolate fudge. Really, I wanted to eat chocolate fudge. I looked around and found a few recipes to try and chose this one first.

Then, I felt like a cheater. Sure, this fudge was creamy and delicious and I definitely ate my fair share. Yeah, people at my office thought it was tasty. But this isn't REAL fudge. This isn't the fudge that you cook the sugar to a certain temperature and you slave over it. It was actually really easy to make. Which is good. But I wanted to really accomplish know?? Do you think I'm crazy? I just might be. My quest for fudge continues.

Chocolate Fudge with Walnuts and Marshmallows
Source: Food Network
Yield: 2 dozen pieces

1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow cream
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup marshmallows
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Line an 8 by 8-inch pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine marshmallow cream, sugar, evaporated milk, butter, and salt. Bring to a full boil, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly until thick.

Remove from heat and pour in the milk chocolate chips. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan. Top with marshmallows. Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours or until firm. Cut to small squares and wrap parchment paper.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Broccoli Soup

This is a repost. But it is worth it because this soup is the bomb. The broccoli bomb.

I've been making things to freeze for after the baby arrives. I made a batch of this and I had forgot how good it is. I've eaten half of the pot so I need to be sure to freeze some! I like that it doesn't have cheese in it so you can control some of the fat that way. As you can see, I'm not too concerned at this point. But after Babe is cheese.

Here is the post with recipe from last November.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Peach and Raspberry Jam Muffins

This is one of my best kept secrets. isn't really a secret since I got the recipe from Joy the Baker...and it definitely isn't a secret now because I'm telling you about it.

Yes. Telling you about the most versitile muffin recipe around. These have come out perfect every time I have made them. I've used strawberry jam, raspberry and blueberry jam. Along with blackberries, raspberries, and now peaches. You can mix and match flavors. And these come together so quickly. I usually whip up a batch on a weekend morning.

Life doesn't get much better than a warm muffin on a Sunday morning.

Fruit and Jam Muffins
Source: Joy the Baker
Yield: 8 muffins

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup whole milk (I use is all we've got)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2- 1 cup frozen or fresh raspberries or whatever berry or fruit you've got
3 Tablespoons strawberry jam or whatever fruit jam you've got

For the topping:
3 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tablespoons sugar

Put a rack in the upper third of oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Generously butter muffin cups or line with cupcake papers.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over moderately low heat; remove from heat. Whisk in milk, egg, yolk and vanilla until well combined.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add milk mixture and stir until just combined. Gently but thoroughly fold in the berries and the jam.

Divide batter among muffin cups and spread evenly.

For the topping:

Combine all the topping ingredients in a bowl and rub together with your fingertips until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over batter in cups.

Bake until golden and crisp and a wooden pick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean, 18-22 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack for 15 minutes, then run a knife around edges of muffin tops and carefully remove from cups. Serve warm or at room temperature.