Thursday, October 29, 2009

50% of Your Daily Vitamin A Needs....

... IN A MUFFIN!

A Chocolately muffin at that.

This muffin has even less calories than the previous "autumn muffins" and came out to be moist, fluffly and satisfying.  When I was making the batter, it looked look chocolate mousse. Though, I'm going to need your help in coming up for a name. Any suggestions???



Ingredients

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup flour
1 serving Ghiradelli 60% Cocoa chips
2 eggs
3/4 pumpkin puree
1 medium ripe banana
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp organic sour cream
1/4 cup Ghiradelli semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
1/2 tsp cinnammon
1 tsp vanilla essence

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F


Melt the butter in the microwave ( preferebly a medium to large size mixing bowl)
Stir in the 60% cocoa chocolate chips until melted
Make sure the mixture is cool and whisk in two eggs ( if it is two warm, the eggs will cook, and u'll have choclate scrambled eggs)
Add the vanilla essence, pumpkin and banana and whisk
Next, stir in the sugar and sour cream
Finally, slowly add in the dry ingredients( flour, Baking powder/soda, pumpkin spice and cinnamon) .
Slowly stir until well incorperated, it should look light and fluffly ( mousse-like)
In the end, mix in the semisweet chocolate chips.

Place the batter in a muffin pan
Top each muffin with a few chocolate chips ( optional)

Bake for about 40-50 minutes checking on the muffins once the smell begins to permeate your kitchen.

Enjoy.... and please help me pick a name!! Thanks hehe

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Anniversary Dinner and Product Reviews

Tomorrow marks our three-year anniversary (yay).... tomorrow is also the longest day of the week and I won't get out of class till 9 pm (nay...)

So, I resolved to make an anniversary dinner tonight as a gift to my fiancee.

First, came the appetizers:


THE CHEESE PLATTER:
Assorted "Entertainment Crackers" ( Whole Foods 365)
White Aged Cheddar
Brie
Triple Cream



CAPRESE






THE MAIN COURSE:
Brussel Sprouts ( Cooked in 1/2 tsp butter, 1/8 cup chicken broth)
Pan Roasted Chicken with Rosemary, Orange Glaze

Chicken with Rosemary Orange Glaze

2 Organic Chicken Breast, ( Bone-in)
1/3 cup Orange Juice
1/3 cup Chicken Broth
5 cloves garlic
1 tbsp ginger
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/2 Spanish onion
1 tsp olive oil

Warm the olive oil then place the chicken skin side down and let it brown for a few minutes. Meanwhile chop the onion set aside.

In a separate bowl combine the orange juice, chicken broth, minced garlic and minced ginger ( salt and pepper to taste)

After the chicken as browned for a few minutes, flip it over to skin side up, add the onion and let it cook for 4-5 minutes covered. Then add the orange broth infusion and the rosemary. Let it come to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  After 30 minutes, flip the chicken so that it is skin side down again, and cook for another 30 minutes.

Finally, take off the cover to let the remaining liquid evaporate and thicken into a glaze.


=

 HOME MADE APPLE CRISP A-LA-MODE

Makes 4 servings:

4 small granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/4 cup raw sugar
1 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp cinammon
1/8 tsp ground clove
1/8 tsp ground cardamon
1 tsp water

TOPPING:

1/2 cup rolled oats
5 tbsp flour
2 tsp butter, melted
1/8 cup raw sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Combine the ingredients of the filling together and place in a loaf pan.

Melt the butter in a microwave, ad the remaining incredients and mix until it begins to clump up in little chunks. Place on top of the apples

Cook in @ 370 degrees for 40 minutes.

PRODUCT REVIEW:  Blue Diamond  Natural Pecan Nut-Thins



SHORT AND BRIEF: When I first saw it, it sounded very good and I began imagining what it would taste like.

Reality:  tiny crispy crisps with little flavor, doused with too much salt as an afterthought. The salt is literally visible!!.. I  did not like it much.  I think Blue Diamond should try putting the flavor and the salt in the cracker itself.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Brief Weekend Recap

Most of the weekend was spent working on an article.... a neverending article.  However I did manage to whip up a few meals.  Here are a few examples:

Saturday Morning Brunch was an 1 egg, +2 egg white scramble with a glass of Florida's Natural Orange Juice (best orange juice i've tried so far, honest) and two slices of Oroweat double fiber toast.



The Scramble included:

one egg
2 egg whites
some mesquite deli turkey
1 light string cheese
and a scallion

on Sunday night, I decided to whip up a healthy meal which consisted of Chicken, Barley and Asparagus:




Mushroom Barley ( adapted from a WW recipe)

1 Spanish onion
2 cups diced baby bella mushroom
1 cup pearl barley
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp white wine
1 tbsp grated parmesan
3 cups chicken broth
1 tsp unsalted butter

- Sautee the diced mushroom and onion in 1 tsp of unsalted butter until onions are transparent and mushroom has softened and shrunk in size.
- Add 1 cup pearl barley, and stir into the mushrooms and onions
-Next, add the white wine
- Add 3 cups of chicken broth and bring the pot to a boil. Once it begins to boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 60 minutes. Stir every 20 minutes or so.
- At about 40 minutes into the cooking process, add the soy sauce and Parmesan.

Aparagus
 

12 stems of asparagus
Cooking spray ( 2 sprays)
3 cloves garlic
soy sauce

- Heat a sautee pan coated with cooking spray, add the asparagus, and 3 sliced cloves of garlic. After a couple minutes add the soy sauce to taste , stir and let it reduce. The whole process should take about 5 minutes total.

LPP Chicken

Lemon Pepper
Paprika
1 tsp Raw Sugar
1 Chicken Breast
3 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp white wine
1 /2 cup - 1 cup chicken broth

- Wash and diced the chicken breast, Coat it with lemon pepper, paprika and 1 tsp of raw sugar.
- Place in a hot pot coated with cooking spray and brown on both sides.
- Add the wine, and let the alcohol cook off.
- Next add 3 diced cloves of garlic, and chicken broth.  Let it simmer on low until the barley is done :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The product of law school midterms...







AUTUMN MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS

2 Eggs
1/2 cup raw sugar, Turbinado
1/4 cup butter, unsalted
1 1/2 cup mashed bananas
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp rapid yeast
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnammon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup grated carrot

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a muffin pan by either spraying with pam, or lining with muffin wrappers.

First, cream the butter and sugar together.
Next, add in the two eggs and whisk well.
Then add the mashed banana and pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract, ensuring it has been well incorporated
Now, dilute the yeast in a few teaspoons of hot water, and add it to the batter.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin spice together.
Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet batter. Do not mix the batter more than needed to incorporate flour.
Lastly, fold in the grated carrots.

Divide the batter evenly in the 12-muffin pan and bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick ( or piece of dry pasta) comes out clean.





Thursday, October 15, 2009

Guilt Free Autumn Sweets



Yes, Guilt Free :)  Why? I've put together a fat free version of the familiar pumpkin pie, and modified it into reasonable portion sizes ( about 50 calories each).

MINI PUMPKIN PIES

Ingredients:

2 cups pumpkin puree ( Libby's)
1 can fat free evaporated milk  (Carnation)
8 oz fat free plain greek yogurt  (Voskos)
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup raw sugar  ( I think it will be just fine with 1/2 cup )
Wonton Wrappers

Directions

Preheat the oven to 430F
Whisk all the ingredients together until smooth.
Spray a muffin pan with pam.
Take two wonton wrappers and place them over eachother so they are diagonal, creating an octagon.
Place this into the muffin pan creating a "crust"
Fill the crusts nearly to the top.
Place in the oven for about 10-15 minutes until the filling begins to set
Reduce the heat to 330F and cook for an additional 40 minutes

Late Night Dinner



Well, I got home from school at about 9:30 pm last night and having only eaten the sweet potato crisp, an  apple an some yogurt all day, I was STARVING.

I set about to a quick, comforting dish composed of generally healthy ingredients.

I covered the bottom of a large pan with about 1/2 inch thick of  chicken broth and added about 1/8th cup of soy sauce and 1 tbsp Smart Balance oil.

When this came to a simmer, I added my washed and chopped chicken breast , covered and let it  cook and absorb the flavors.

While this was cooking, I chopped up  2 cloves of garlic and a few slivers of fresh ginger to add to the mix. Stir the chicken every once in a while to ensure it is cooked thoroughly.  Make sure all the liquid doesnt boil off.  In order to balance out the flavors, I added about a tablespoon of raw sugar which helps turn the "broth" into a glaze.

In a separate pot, bring some water to a boil and cook some whole wheat spagehtti.

When the Chicken is almost done and the sauce has begun to thicken add your choice of fresh vegetables. Cook for about 5 minutes before adding the whole wheat spaghetti.

Lastly, I added 2 stalks of chopped scallions and a few peanuts for a nice surprise.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sweet Potato Crisp





Ingredients

2 medium sweet potatoes
1 tsp raw turbinado sugar
1 tsp granulated rosemary
sea salt
fresh cracked pepper
pam/oil ( personal preference)
pinch of dried basil
a few shakes of paprika
a pinch of granulated onion

Cube the Sweet potato, toss together with pam/oil and seasoning and bake at 400F for about 40 minutes or until it begins to crisp up on the edges.