Tag Archives: Martha Stewart

Enough For Me & You

Whenever I make a recipe that provides enough for leftovers, my appreciation for the recipe doubles. Why, you may ask? Because it gives me either a delicious option for lunch the next day, or even better, a night off in the kitchen! A lot of recipes I make suggest that they are at least 4 servings, but I rarely find myself with leftovers (between the two of us in the house). So, whenever there’s a huge casserole or Dutch oven meal on the week’s menu, I can count on that providing me some type of leftover; whether it’s enough for one or two people is another story.

As always, I try to make sure that my meals are as balanced as possible; vegetables, protein, healthy fats… you know the drill. Since I take medication daily, my gastroenterologist likes for me to have blood work every so often just to make sure the medicine isn’t affecting anything negatively. I actually just had some routine blood work last week, and they mailed me a copy of the results. I’m happy to report that pretty much everything was within the “normal” range! I’ve got plenty of blood protein, calcium, and all the other goodies that people often swear vegetarians don’t get enough of. So even though my gut doesn’t work properly, my blood is in good shape! At least I know I’m doing something right.

But now that we’ve talked about my blood, let’s get back to food… I’m currently trying to ramp up my mileage (only a little) and intensity (a little more) for a half marathon in April. I’m actually running two half marathons in April – the RU Unite Half Marathon that I’ve run the last 3 years (and was my first!), and then a week later the Nike Women’s Half. I’m hoping to PR at the first, and then enjoy the second. I would love to run a 1:45 (or faster, of course), and I think it’s possible since I had to walk a few minutes due to a side cramp last year and finished in 1:47. As always, running has seriously increased my appetite, which is huge to begin with. So, when I found a big ‘ole strata recipe on Martha Stewart’s website, I knew I had to make it.

I had to make some changes to the recipe, most notably because one of the main ingredients was sausage. I’ve been completely obsessed with soy chorizo the past few months, so I knew that would be a perfect replacement. I’ve had the soy chorizo from both Trader Joe’s and Stop & Shop, and they are both equally delicious, and easy to use in anything from a burrito to an omelet. This particular recipe includes things I love; spicy chorizo, eggs, bread (yay carbs!), cheese, and a solid dose of leafy greens. It’s perfect to whip together before work and then cook when you get home, make the night before having brunch, or do all at once (since it really doesn’t take that long). I love the versatility of stratas, and this recipe is no different!

ChorizoChard

Vegetarian Chorizo & Chard Strata adapted from Martha Stewart
– Serves 4 –

Ingredients:
1 package of Soy Chorizo (or 1lb. of regular chorizo)
1 tbsp olive oil*
1 small onion, diced (can be yellow, white, Spanish)
1 bunch of Chard (Swiss or red), roughly chopped
1 baguette (day old is best), sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup of smoked Gruyere or Gouda cheese
7 eggs
2 1/2 cups of milk (any dairy or non-flavored and unsweetened non-dairy kind will do)
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a medium sauté pan, cook the chorizo and set aside.
3. In the same pan, add the olive oil and sauté the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. *If you are using real chorizo, you do not need to add the oil – you can use the fat from the meat.
4. Next add in the chard, salt, and pepper, and cook until just beginning to wilt, about 5 minutes. 
5. In a 9×11 greased baking dish, layer half the chorizo, followed by the chard and onion mixture, then sliced baguette. Follow with another layer of chorizo and then chard. 
6. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs and milk. Pour over the casserole dish, doing your best to distribute evenly. Top with cheese. Let sit for at least 30 minutes, but can go up to overnight. 
7. Bake covered with foil for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Let sit for at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving! 

Do you have any favorite dishes you make that always give you leftovers?

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Filed under Food Blogging, Recipe, Running, Vegetarian/Vegan

A Perfect Foodie Gift for Dad!

Late last week, I was contacted by Snubbr.com who offered to write up a guest post on some sweet cookbooks available to get for your dad for Father’s Day. My dad is a seriously awesome cook – you name it, he can make it, and it’s always delicious! So, since I’m still totally clueless as to what I should get my dad, I figured what the heck. Maybe I’ll purchase one of their suggestions!

You can expect a give-away some time in June from them, so stay tuned for that, too!

 

Baking Cookbook Gift Ideas For Father’s Day
by Shannon Clark, a Snubbr expert

Would you easily describe your dad (or husband) as a world class baker? If so, consider getting him a brand new baking cookbook this coming Father’s day. There’s always new techniques or recipes that he can try out as he indulges in this passion of his and best of all, if you’re lucky he may just share the end result.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the top rated baking cookbook options available so you can find the perfect pick for your father this coming father’s day.


The Complete Baking Cookbook: 350 Recipes From Cookies And Cakes To Muffins And Pies

If your dad likes baking a variety, this cookbook is sure to please him. With many different varieties of baked goods that he can prepare when he uses this cookbook, you can ensure he never gets bored. This book really outdoes itself when it comes to cookies especially with so many different varieties to choose from that span across all sorts of ingredients.

If he’s a pie fan as well, rest assured there will be plenty of different ideas to keep him occupied. The book even comes with troubleshooting tips and techniques so there’s a good chance he’ll improve his cooking skills while he bakes up the various recipes that are found in it.


The Joy of Vegan Baking: The Compassionate Cooks’ Traditional Treats and Sinful Sweets

If you have a father who’s a vegan, one of the most difficult types of dishes for him to prepare will be dessert since he’s not to eat any eggs or dairy. That’s where this cookbook comes in handy.

With 150 different recipes that span across cakes, pudding, cookies, crepes, and pies, there will be something that’s sure to please him. Since all are prepared without any animal products at all, you can also be confident that they’re going to be far healthier varieties to be adding to his diet helping him maintain his ideal weight range.

Whether he is rather new to the process of baking or is a seasoned pro with the oven, this cookbook will provide more than enough recipes to keep him busy for the coming months.


The Smart Baking Cookbook: Muffins, Cookies, Biscuits, and Breads

Has your father recently undergone a total health make-over? If so, this is the cookbook you should get for him. It contains 180 different dishes that are all low in fat, high in fiber, and contain no added sugar. All are made up of natural ingredients such as fruit, nuts, honey, cinnamon, or other herbs and flavorings so he gets a healthy dessert that’s still high on taste.

Written by the editor of Prevention magazine, which is a magazine filled with top-notch health information, you can be sure there’s nothing but high quality here.


Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

Perhaps no other name is as famous in the household of a baking enthusiast than Martha Stewart. Known for her delicious desserts and world-class presentation, you know your father will appreciate every single one of the recipes that comes in this book.

She begins the book by providing you with a wide variety of general baking tips, which your dad can then use to improve his own techniques in the kitchen. After that the book includes a complete illustrated guide to the various types of baking equipment that will be utilized in the recipes so he’ll never feel lost in the dark about what’s going on.

Also included in the book are plenty of recipe substitutions that can be used so if something happens and your dad doesn’t happen to have the stated ingredient at home, he’ll quickly be able to find a swap for it that won’t wreck his afternoon of baking.

Various recipes include din this guide are cakes, pies, tarts, coffee cakes, scones, biscuits, muffins, crackers, breads, as well as fine pastries. You know he’ll never get bored when using this cookbook.


The Low-Carb Baking and Dessert Cookbook

Has your dad recently adopted a low carb diet? If so, this is the book for him. It’s filled with a variety of different recipes from breads, pastries, to confections, all of which will be low carb in nature. Do take note that the ingredients called for in this book will be slightly atypical as they do have to be lower in carbs, so he’ll have to shop around when preparing these recipes.

If he has a serious sweet tooth however and is very committed to sticking to his diet, you know that this cookbook will definitely make achieving his goals easier.

So keep all of these cookbooks in mind as you shop for a gift for your father this coming Father’s Day. Any one of these will definitely make his holiday.

If you need more unique gift ideas, check out snubbr.com. They’re a Q&A site for shopping advice, backed by thousands of experts. You simply ask a question, and they search for experts to answer it for you.

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Crisp Noodle Cake

Happy Earth Day!

Tonight’s dinner was an Earth Day celebration; a nice crisp noodle cake and TONS of veggies!

I had this particular recipe on my radar for awhile, but wasn’t able to incorporate it into my weekly meal planning until today. I was also a bit hesitant about the recipe in general. My fiancé tells me I need more confidence, since I’m always afraid my adventures in the kitchen are going end disastrously. He constantly reassures me that everything I’ve made has been delicious, and the few things that haven’t, have been at least passable.

That being said, I found this recipe on Serious Eats. It is, however, a Martha Stewart recipe. It seemed pretty basic, and really only called for a few ingredients; one of which was ginger. I personally have no aversion to ginger, but I know a lot of people (cough, my dad, cough) that loathe it. Because I don’t care either way, instead of getting the fresh ginger, I went with sushi ginger. That way, I can have it to throw into other recipes in the future, without needing to worry about it going bad as quickly. I’ve been avoiding scallions for no particular reason. Up until this recipe, if I was making something that called for it, I left it out. This time, however, I knew it was an important part of the meal, so I buckled down and bought some.

Once you get past the ingredients and mix everything together, you’re kind of left with a giant slop of egg, ginger, bean sprouts, scallions, and noodles, as you can see here:

I was unsure of the best way to grab the concoction and transfer it from the bowl to the bubbling hot oil. I decided to grab some with a fork, carry over the ends with my fingers, and as neatly as possible (without getting burnt) place the blob into the oil. Believe it or not, I managed to get it into a cake-like shape, without getting burnt!

While the noodles were cooking away, I decided to sauté some typical stir-fry vegetables as a side; broccoli, carrots, and sugar snap peas – yum! I doused them in some soy and teriaki sauces for flavor.

I don’t really know what about this recipe made me so nervous. When I broke it all down, though, it turned out to be really simple. The cakes were super crisp on the outside, and tender on the inside. To agree with Blake Royer over at Serious Eats, it was a kind of like a “noodle frittata, crisp and crunchy and yet still custardy on the inside.” There was just the right amount of ginger without being overpowering, and the scallion added a nice touch. I could definitely see adding some sautéed onion into the mix next time. It was also really great to have Sriracha as a dipping sauce.

If you’re ever in the mood for a basic Asian inspired crispy meal, I would definitely recommend this. My girl Martha knows what she’s talking about, as does Serious Eats!

Crisp Noodle Cake
[Serves 2]

Ingredients:

3 ounces rice vermicelli or angel hair pasta
3 ounces soybean sprouts
1 tablespoon minced ginger
3 scallions, sliced very thin
2 large eggs plus 1 egg white, beaten
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 cup neutral oil, such as canola or safflower
1/4 cup pea shoots (optional)
Soy sauce and sriracha (or other chili sauce) for condiments

Directions:

1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook the noodles until just tender; drain and rinse under cool water. Add to a bowl with the sprouts, ginger, scallions, salt, and eggs and toss to combine.
2. Heat the oil in a large (12-inch) skillet until very hot and shimmering and almost smoking (if it’s not hot enough, the cakes can be greasy), then lower the heat to medium. Divide the noodle mixture into 4 portions, then place each in the pan, pressing to flatten into a cake. Cook until golden brown, 6-7 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Turn out cakes to a plate lined with paper towels, then toss the pea shoots into the skillet to wilt.
3. Blot the cakes with paper towel and serve with the soy sauce and Sriracha.

Happy nomzing!

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Filed under Home Cooking, Recipe, Vegetarian/Vegan

Baking Away!

This past week was pretty serious when it came to my cooking. Not only did I make Eggplant Enchiladas and Southwest Soup & Tortas, but I also did some pretty serious baking. Well, for me at least. Of course it was nothing like Serial Baker, but that’s besides the point.

On Wednesday after getting in an argument with our upstairs neighbor about “stinking” because we cook, I decided to finally start my cupcake experiment. Don’t worry; there will be a post about that in the near future. Then on Saturday, I had two occasions to bake for – first, I was going to meet more of my fiancé’s family at Passover dinner, and it was also one of our friend’s birthdays.

For whatever reason when I was little, I wished I was Jewish. It probably came down to the simple fact that I wanted to be something I wasn’t. Just like I always wanted glasses, and secretly hoped I’d break a lower-extremity bone so I could use crutches. At any rate, my fiancé is half Jewish, and though his family isn’t really practicing, they do have Passover dinner just as a way to all get together. They don’t do any thing really traditional (such as the Seder, etc.), but there was some typical fare. That’s where my first baking attempt came in to play.

Early last week I was trying to figure out what I could bring with us. I wanted to make something, but wasn’t sure what. I had remembered my mom’s principle (she’s a school nurse) making “matzo bark” and I had asked for the recipe. She never got it, but conveniently later in the week I was reading YumSugar and stumbled upon a “Toffee-Chocolate Matzah” recipe! We’ve had a box of matzo for awhile, so I knew I was at least half way there with the ingredients. After reading over the recipe, I realized it was completely doable in terms of ingredients, skill level, and time.

Once I had made that recipe, I moved onto my next task – Kahlua Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies. Say that 10 times fast! I found the recipe from Recipe Girl, who also provided me with the delicious Pumpkin French Toast I had made this past fall. Again, I had to cream the butter by hand with the back of a spoon, which I complained about continuously. But other than that, the recipe was pretty straight forward. I did have to go out and get more chocolate chips and powdered Espresso, but that was it!

I did make a few alterations to the Kahlua Espresso cookies… I didn’t have any Kahlua, but I did have Bailey’s (from my Guinness & Bailey’s cupcakes). So instead of going out and buying more alcohol that would just sit around, I figured I’d use what I have. Also, between the two recipes, I ran out of brown sugar. But I did have a brown sugar and Splenda mix, so I was able to use that for the rest of the cookies. While I haven’t had the original recipe, I can’t imagine mine tasted much different from them.

When we arrived at my fiancé’s Aunt’s house, I was thrilled to hear that everyone was a huge fan of chocolate covered matzo. They were definitely enjoyed by everyone, and since there was so much food we got to take home the leftovers! Say hello to a delicious little snack during the week! The cookies were also a hit at our friend’s party. By the time we got there, they had an ice luge out and in full force, so some sustenance was in order. I’m pretty sure everyone enjoyed those as well.

So, if you ever find yourself with some extra Matzo hanging around, or the inability to eat leaven bread, I suggest giving the Toffee-Chocolate Matzah a try. Here’s the recipe from YumSugar, who got it from Martha Stewart:

Ingredients:
4 sheets unsalted non-egg matzah
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
Coarse sea salt

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper Place matzah in an even layer on baking sheet and set aside.
3. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add brown sugar and immediately reduce temperature to low. Cook, stirring, adjusting heat as necessary, until sugar has completely dissolved and begins to bubble. Drizzle toffee over matzah and spread to cover using a spatula.
4. Transfer toffee-covered matzah to oven and bake until toffee has a rich, shiny sheen, 10 to 20 minutes.
5. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Tent matzah with aluminum foil and let stand 20 to 30 minutes.
6. Remove foil tent and spread melted chocolate over matzah to cover; sprinkle with sea salt. Transfer matzah to refrigerator and let chill at least 2 hours.
7. Break chilled matzah into pieces. Matzah will keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days at room temperature.

And, if you’re ever looking for some chocolate, coffee, liquor and cinnamon, give these Kahlua Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies a whirl!

Ingredients:
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
½ Tbsp. espresso powder
1 Tbsp. Kahlua
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed firmly
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted & cooled a little bit
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
3. In a small dish, dissolve espresso powder in Kahlua; set aside.
4. In a large bowl, use electric mixer to cream butter and sugars together. Add Kahlua mixture, eggs and vanilla; beat until thoroughly combined. Add cooled, melted chocolate and continue to beat until it’s mixed in. Add flour mixture and beat at low speed until all flour is incorporated into the dough, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Stir in chocolate chips.
5. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls (or use a cookie scoop) 2-inches apart onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are golden brown and no longer look gooey in the middles. Cool completely on wire rack.
Yield: About 5 dozen

Being in a rush after all the baking, I didn’t take a picture of them after they were done. Then, I wound up eating all of the cookies and matzo before I realized I still needed a picture! So my sincerest appologies for not having pictures of the deliciousness. But I promise they were yummy!!

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Mini Cookies ‘n Cream Cheesecakes!

Every so often I find a recipe that screams, “make me now!” This particular recipe was one of them. I found it on Friday at work, and there I was making them Saturday morning before going snowboarding. Considering I’m a newbie at the whole winter sports thing, I figured there really couldn’t be a better way to nurse my wounds than with some mini cookies ‘n cream cheesecakes!

This is actually a Martha Stewart recipe, but I found it on The Indiscriminate Foodie’s blog. The pictures alone sold me. A whole Oreo at the bottom of a deliciously sweet and creamy concoction? It seemed like the cone-head sundae you get with a kid’s meal at Friendly’s! You know, the one with the Reese’s Pieces at the bottom!

The preparation for the cheesecakes themselves was pretty straight forward. Beat everything together, crush up Oreos, combine, cook, chill. I’m still having issues with my hand mixer, though. I’m finally at the point where I think it’s me. Maybe I need a bigger bowl, or to use a different setting? Whatever I’m doing isn’t working; nothing ever creams as I expect it to. Maybe I’ll just have to get that giant KitchenAid standing mixer!

Enough of my kitchen supply wants and desires, back to the deliciousness! These little mini heavens were a perfect ending to a successful day on the slopes. They had just the right amount of flavor you would expect in a cheesecake; cheesy, sweet, rich, creamy, decadent… you get my point. Add in some crunch at the bottom from an Oreo and you’ve got yourself some seriously good cheesecake.

I really love that they’re miniature; you don’t feel so badly for eating one. And believe me, one is enough! They’re so rich that any more would have put me over the edge; but it did take a lot of self control to stop! To be fair though, I had just inhaled a vegetarian fajita burrito from Chipotle only  moments before. And sure, the fact that you cook them in cupcake pans didn’t really hurt either, since I’m completely obsessed with all things cupcake!

I can definitely see myself making these again, and maybe even with some different flavor variations!

I can’t encourage you to make these any more – prep time was about 20 minutes with a 20 minute bake time. The hardest part will definitely be the 4+ hours you wait while they’re in the fridge. But it’s worth it, I promise! So go get the ingredients and get started! Here’s the recipe:

Martha Stewart’s Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes

Ingredients:

21 Oreos or other creme-filled sandwich cookies. 15 whole, 6 coarsely chopped.
1 lb. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large, room temperature eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
pinch of salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 275°F. Line standard-sized muffin tin with paper liners and place one sandwich cookie into the bottom of each lined cup.
2. With an electric mixer on medium-high, beat cream cheese until creamy and smooth. Gradually beat in sugar until combined. Beat in vanilla.
3. Drizzle in the beaten eggs a little bit at a time until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in sour cream and salt. Then stir in the coarsely chopped cookies by hand.
4. Divide the batter evenly among the cookie-filled cups, filling each one almost to the top. Bake until the cakes are set (about 22 minutes), rotating the pans halfway through.
5. Remove from oven and place pans on wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, chill the cakes in the pans for at least four hours (or up to overnight).

A couple of notes:

To chop the cookies, I put the cookies in a zip-top bag and crushed them with his hands. A rolling pin works too!
When it comes to chilling them, I think the longer they chill, the better; mine were in for about 8 hours before I had a taste, and they were great!

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