Grilled Cheese Sandwich!

October 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

Sometimes Fridays call for a long leisurely lunch reading a book and picking melted cheese off your plate. I wish that was every Friday, but reality says its not. Work, errands, meetings, kids all prevent that from happening. But that’s okay and I hope you have time this weekend to do it instead.

When you’re making a grilled cheese I think a good bread is important. If you’ve got some time or are going to make the sandwich this weekend make this no-knead bread tonight. Or just use whatever you have. I’m feeling very easy-going today, can you tell?

Next, add what you have. My recommendations? Spinach, sharp cheddar cheese, shredded parmesan, prosciutto, granny smith apples and some mayo and mustard. Stack it all together, spread butter on the outside of the sandwich and throw it on a pan. Cook it low and slow. Let it get that nice brown crunchyness on the outside and let the cheese get all oogey gooey. Then you’re ready to go. Enjoy!

Grilled Cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 slices thick, crusty bread
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 1/8 cup shredded parmesan
  • sliced sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 pieces of prosciutto
  • thinly sliced granny smith apple
  • mayo & mustard
  • butter

To make

1) Spread mayonnaise and mustard on both sides of the bread. Layer on ingredients starting with parmesan cheese, spinach, prosciuitto, apple and cheddar cheese. Put on top slice of bread.
2) Spread butter on outside pieces of bread. Cook over medium-low heat until cheese is melted and bread is browned. Turn once when first side is done. Remove from heat and eat while still warm. Enjoy!

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Coconut Milk Smoothie

October 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

You know what’s motivating? Half-used cans of relatively expensive ingredients. I made a delicious thai dish that used one cup of a can of coconut milk. My mind started thinking about what I could do with it so I wouldn’t end up throwing away the last half like I normally do, and this coconut milk smoothie was born.

The coconut milk gives it a creamy delicious taste that’s not overpowering. Since I’m not eating processed sugar I added some dried, pitted dates for sweetness. The fruit combo of banana, strawberries and raspberries was inspired but what I had in my freezer. Customize it with what you have!

My one piece of advice it to pre-soak the dates and blend them thoroughly before adding the other stuff, otherwise you end up with little pieces of dates which isn’t bad it’s just weird. Enjoy!

Coconut Milk Smoothie
(roughly adapted from Real Simple)

Makes 1 large smoothie

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 dried, pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup of ice
  • 1/3 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 ripe banana
  • a little over 1 cup frozen fruit (I used strawberries and raspberries)

To Make

1) Soak dates in water for 5-10 minutes. Blend.  Add in ice, coconut milk, banana and frozen fruit; blend well. Pour into glass and enjoy! 

Quinoa Caprese Bake

October 9, 2013 § Leave a comment

 I’m just going to cut to the chase. This is delicious. Creamy, tomatoey, filling, tasty. Great right out of the oven or reheated for leftovers. Get on it. Start with your quinoa. Cook it just like the package tells you too. I had red quinoa in my pantry but you can use whatever variety you feel like. Bonus, it’s gluten free and vegetarian!

Lets get the good stuff too. I had some leftover marinara sauce in the freezer, mozzarella, parmesan and CREAM. While your quinoa is cooking you can prep your ingredients and make the sauce. My favorite part of this is the sauce after you mix in the cream, cheese and flavorings. It is amazing in a straight-off-a-spoon way. Sometimes I forget how good cream makes things! I’m tempted to make just the sauce to use with regular pasta or chicken. Once you’ve got that you mix (almost) everything together, pour it in a pan, top with more cheese and tomatoes. Just another 20 minutes in the oven and resting and you’ve got a great meal.

Quinoa Caprese Bake
from Half Baked Harvest

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup uncooked)
  • 1 cup favorite marinara sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup mozzarella, divided
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large bunch basil, torn into pieces
  • S&P

To Make

1) Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease an 8×8 or 9×9 pan.  Prep your ingredients. Half of the mozzarella can be shredded or torn into small pieces; the other half sliced into rounds or shredded (depending on if using fresh or not).
2) In a large saucepan, heat tomato sauce and tomato paste just until warm. Turn off heat, stir in cream, half of the mozzarella (the shredded portion), parmesan cheese, S&P. Once combined, stir in quinoa. Finally, fold in basil and most of the tomatoes, reserving a few for the top.
3) Pour quinoa mix into the greased pan. Top with mozzarella rounds (or the last half of shredded cheese) and the last of the tomatoes. Bake 10-15 minutes, then broil for 1-2 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven, top with fresh basil. Let sit for 5 minutes then enjoy!

Brown Butter Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

October 3, 2013 § 2 Comments

A few of these cookies went to work with my husband. He then texted me from working telling me everyone loved the Snicker Fiddles. I love text correct for changing snickerdoodles to snicker fiddles and I think that’s what I shall call these.

These were my last sugary hurrah for a month. I’m doing a no-sugar month starting this past Tuesday. I’m not telling you to toot my own horn, I’m telling you as an accountability. If I don’t tell you and I mess up it’s not a big deal but since I’ve told you I can’t just quit but sheesh it’s gonna be tough. Anyway, back to the cookie.

These little gems are a delicious fall cookie. They’re dense, moist, chewy and flavorful. Don’t let the brown butter scare you. It’s really not that tough to make and packs a big punch. Follow these excellent instructions from The Kitchn.

A couple pointers, the dough needs to rest for a bit after it’s mixed. It’s pretty sticky and giving it twenty minutes to sit makes it easier to form into balls. Also, I baked these a little more than the original recipe calls for. I found 8 minutes left the cookies underdone and 10-12 minutes is perfect.  Also, they don’t spread out too much so they’re the perfect size to share. Enjoy!

Brown Butter Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
from The Kitchen Paper

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • for topping: 1/4 cup granulated sugar + 1 tsp cinnamon

To Make:

1) Start with making your brown butter. Melt 1 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. It will melt, start to bubble and crackle and eventually turn brown. Stir occasionally during the process. Takes about 20 minutes.  Set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes
2) In a large bowl whisk together flour, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt, baking powder.
3) When the butter is cooled, stir in sugars until combined. Then add pumpkin puree, large egg and vanilla extract. Pour this mixture into flour mixture and mix well. Will be very wet and sticky. Set aside for 20 minutes, which will make it easier to form into balls.
3) Preheat oven to 350. Form dough into 1-inch balls, roll in cinnamon sugar mixture and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let sit on rack for 2 minutes then transfer to cooling rack. Enjoy!

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