Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Strawberry Icebox Cake

Original recipe found here. This is easy and so good. Terrible for you. But so so good.

2 pounds fresh strawberries,w ashed
3 1/4 cup whipping cream, divided
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 sleeves (about 19 ounces, or 24-28 whole crackers) graham crackers
2 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped

Take out a few of the best looking strawberries and set them aside for the garnish. Hull the remainder of the strawberries and slice each berry into thin slices.

With a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, whip 3 cups of cream until it just hold stiff peaks. Add the confectioners sugar, and vanilla and whip to combine.

Spread a small spoonful of whipped cream on the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan, or similarly-sized platter. Lay down six graham crackers. Lightly cover the top of the graham crackers with more whipped cream, an then a single later of strawberries. Repeat three times, until you have four layers of graham crackers. Spread the last of the whipped cream over the top and swirl it lightly with a spoon. Add a few more strawberries.

To make the ganache, heat the cream until bubbles form around the edges, then pour over the chopped chocolate. Let it stand for a few minutes, then whisk until the mixture is thick and glossy. Drizzle over the layered dessert with a spoon or use a squeeze bottle.

Refrigerate for at least four hours, or until the crackers have softened completely. Garnish with additional berries.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Three Years Old

My little boy turned THREE on July 1st! Thanks to Pinterest I found the idea to list some of his favorite things on his 3 year picture.

I look forward to using it in his newest scrapbook that I'll be getting started on soon. I have to finish up last year's and order it first.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

No-Knead Focaccia

I found this on Pinterest and it has to be one of the easiest and tastiest bread recipes I've found. And it is cheap to make. I love to use it to make turkey, avocado, and swiss paninis. Andrew loves to make caprese sandwiches cold on it - tomato, mozzarella, basil, and balsamic vinegar.

Keep in mind that you start this recipe the night before and bake it in the morning.

1 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups water
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
2 Tbsp corn meal

The night before, combine flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Stir until everything is combined and then stir in water. The result should be one sticky, shaggy lump of dough. If there is still dry flour in the bowl or everything isn’t sticking together, add a bit more water. Loosely cover and let sit overnight at room temperature (about 14 hours).

The next day the dough will be wet, fluffy, and maybe even bubbling. Use a spatula and scrape down the dough from the sides of the bowl and turn the dough over on itself.

Prepare a baking sheet with foil and non-stick spray and a generous sprinkling of cornmeal. Dust your hands with flour and sprinkle a little on top of the dough to keep it from sticking to your hands. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet. Stretch and pat the dough out into a large rectangle. You may need to dust your hands with flour throughout this process to keep the dough from sticking. It will be very wet and sticky.

Drizzle olive oil over the surface of the dough and use a soft brush to spread it evenly over the surface. Sprinkle the Italian seasoning (or any type of herbs) over top. Let the dough rise for another hour.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Using your fingers, press dimples into the risen dough. Bake the focaccia for 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven or until the surface is golden brown. After removing from the oven, transfer the focaccia to a wire rack to cool.

Spicy Black Bean Burgers

This is a recipe from the Skinny Taste blog. I make them without the mayo she has on her post. We aren't mayo people. These have become a house favorite. I double the recipe and keep them in the freezer and we have a quick and healthy lunch or dinner at a moments notice. We even tried freeze some buns so that we always have them. It worked well for us! When I am down to one or two in the freezer I make up another batch and it takes no time at all.

I top mine with a little cheese and avocado slices. Andrew like to add some hot sauce to his.

I seriously eat these about twice a week. They are filling, healthy, and budget friendly. You can't go wrong.

16 oz can black beans, rinsed & drained
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped scallions
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 egg
1 Tbsp cumin
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup quick oats

Dry the beans well after washing, extra moisture keeps the burgers from sticking. In a medium bowl, mash beans with a fork until thick and pasty.

In a food processor, finely chop bell pepper, cilantro, onion, and garlic, then add oats, then eggs and spices. Then stir into mashed beans.

Divide mixture into four patties (using slightly oiled hands helps) and place them onto a flat surface covered with wax paper. If the mixture is too wet, chill for 30 minutes or add another tablespoon of oats.

Freeze at least 2 hours before cooking or keep frozen until ready to cook.

Heat a lightly sprayed skillet to medium heat and cook frozen burgers about 7 minutes on each side.

If grilling, preheat grill over medium heat, and lightly oil a sheet of aluminum foil; grill 7-8 minutes on each side.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Zucchini Quesadillas

4 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium zucchini, about 1 lb, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
2 cups grated pepper jack cheese

Preheat oven to 400°. In a large skillet, heat 3 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Add onion and 1 tsp salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook 1 minute more.

Add zucchini and frozen corn kernels; cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is soft and corn is tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro, if using.

Brush one side of all tortillas with remaining Tbsp oil; lay 2 tortillas, oiled side down, on a baking sheet. Place half of the filling on each, and sprinkle with half the cheese. Place remaining 2 tortillas on top, oiled side up; press down gently with a spatula to seal.

Bake until cheese has melted and tortillas are golden brown, turning once, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool slightly. To serve, slice each quesadilla into wedges.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Meatless Mexican Lasagna

I've been MIA lately. I didn't realize how much time I would not have to post recipes once I started staying home. Mostly becuase Colin is dropping naps and so that limits my nice quiet alone time. I am going to try and get back to posting more recipes. Espcially since I have been finding some really good ones here lately!

Here is a Mexican take on lasanga. It was a big hit in our house and in Hallies. The original recipe had hot sauce that I left out. Hallie said she added black olives. We both topped with avocado when we served it. It seems like you can't go wrong playing with this recipe.

1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
4-5 green onions, chopped
Scant 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 red or orange bell pepper, diced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes, fire roasted
9-12 no-boil lasagna noodles
8 oz shredded Mexican blend cheese

Preheat the oven to 400°.

In a large bowl, combine the black beans, corn, green onions, cilantro, bell pepper, oregano, garlic powder, cumin, and salt.

Spread a thin layer of tomatoes over the bottom of the baking dish. Layer with 3-4 lasagna noodles, breaking them as needed to fit the pan. On top of the layer of noodles, spread about 1/3 of the bean mixture. Layer evenly with about one quarter of the remaining tomatoes and sprinkle with 1/4 of the cheese.

Repeat the layering process two times more. The last layer will be noodles, tomatoes, and cheese.

Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Bake 35-45 minutes, or until noodles are tender and cooked through. Remove the foil from the top and bake 5 minutes more, until the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and let stand at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.