Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pumpkin Bread

I recently acquired a pie pumpkin in our bi-weekly CSA delivery, and had so many ideas of what to do with it, it was hard to decide. I love the taste of pumpkin in the fall, and typically make pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting, but this time I wanted to do something different. After baking and pureeing my pumpkin, I found this recipe for pumpkin bread, and figured I'd give it a shot. This recipe is a keeper as it was quick and easy, and the bread was very moist with all the wonderful flavors of fall pumpkin and spice. You can definitely make it with canned pumpkin puree to make the process even faster. I used one regular sized loaf pan about and had enough batter left to make a mini loaf pan also. This method increased the baking time by about 15 minutes, but I will leave the recipe in its original form below. Enjoy!


Ingredients:
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans.


2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.


3. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.



Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Apple Crisp

This is my favorite recipe for apple crisp. The original recipe is from Allrecipes.com, however I made a few changes to the ingredients and amounts. Using granny smith apples keeps the taste slightly tart, but the topping sweetens it up just enough. Be sure to use cooled butter and not to over-mix in order to achieve a crisp, crumbly topping. You are sure to enjoy this recipe with or without a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!



Ingredients:

4 cups sliced granny smith apples
1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
slightly less than 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup flour

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8x8 inch baking dish.
  • Place apples in prepared dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Pour water over all.
  • In a bowl, mix together the sugars and butter, creating a crumbly mixture. Blend in flour. Sprinkle mixture evenly over apples. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon, if desired.
  • Bake in preheated oven 30 to 40 minutes, until apples are tender and crust is golden. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Face Lift!






Before















After










It is time to finally unveil the recent changes to the Kozy Kitchen. With upgraded appliances and new paint, the kitchen is sure to inspire some delicious dishes! The painting was done before the "before" picture was taken, but the color went from tan to red (which didn't work out) and is now Sherwin-Williams "Friendly Yellow". We also ran a gas line from the basement in order to swap the electric stove for gas, which was probably the most exciting change! The first meal made with the new appliances was Chicken Chili, which is featured in this blog and is a great dish for this time of year as the weather cools down. The new kitchen is already bringing me more motivation to cook and bake, so be sure to check back for new recipes in the future!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Potato Soup

As the weather becomes cool and crisp, I love opening my windows and getting out the slow cooker to make some warm and comforting meals. I decided to get creative and used what I had on hand to create this recipe. I don't normally post my own creations, but we thought the soup turned out really well, and was very simple to make. We enjoyed it with a crisp green salad and some warm buttery dinner rolls. I hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

5 lbs red potatoes, cut into eighths
1 can chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 shredded carrots
2 chopped leeks
1 soup can of water
10 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
milk to taste (about 1 cup)
salt
freshly ground pepper

Optional for topping:
shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream or Greek yogurt
additional diced bacon

Directions:
  • Place potatoes, broth, cream of chicken soup, carrots, leeks, and water in crock pot.
  • Cook on low heat 6-8 hrs or high heat 3-4 hours.
  • Use a potato masher, or any kitchen utensil that will work, to mash some of the potatoes up.
  • Stir in milk until soup reaches desired consistency. We like our potato soup quite thick, so I only added about 3/4 cup milk.
  • Add bacon.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. (I used lots of black pepper!)
  • Replace lid on slow cooker and allow soup to heat up for about 10 more minutes.
  • Place soup in serving bowls and top with toppings of choice.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Broccoli Salad

I was blessed with a very nice baby shower in August. My wonderful cousin planned the food, and everyone really enjoyed this recipe. In order to save time we used microwavable bacon, prepared the salad the night before, and refrigerated it overnight. This would make a great side dish for a potluck or summer barbecue. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 large head broccoli
6 to 8 slices of bacon, crumbled
1/2 c chopped red onioin
1/2 c raisins
8 oz sharp cheddar, shredded
1 c mayo
2 tbsp white vinegar
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c cherry tomatoes, halved
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Mix broccoli, bacon, onion, raisins, cheese, and tomatoes in large bowl.
Mix mayo, vinegar, and sugar in a small bowl, and stir into large bowl to coat ingredients.


Source: Paula Deen


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Ice Cream Torte

I first tried this dessert at my Aunt Heidi's house a few years ago. It was so good, I had to request the recipe. Every year since then, my husband has requested this for his birthday cake! It is very simple to make, keeps well in the freezer, and can be done with either store bought or homemade ice cream. The fresh, minty ice cream is a perfect counterpart to the rich fudge base of the torte. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

20 Oreos crushed- reserve 1/4 cup
4 one-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate
1 stick butter
2 cups powdered sugar
3 eggs beaten
1/2 gallon mint chocolate chip ice cream

Directions:
  • Spread crushed Oreos in bottom of a cake pan.
  • Melt chocolate squares and butter together in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. Stir in powdered sugar and eggs, and cook, stirring frequently until it begins bubbling.
  • Pour chocolate mixture over Oreo crumbles in cake pan. Cool for 1 hour.
  • Spread ice cream over base and sprinkle reserved crumbs over top. Freeze.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cucumber Salad

Some of you may be wondering where I've been lately- the answer is that I didn't spend much time in the kitchen in March or April (and definitely didn't make anything worth blogging about) due to morning sickness! That's right, we are expecting our first baby some time around November 12th! Even though I love to cook and bake, I just didn't have the energy for it in March or April. We then purchased our first home in May, moved, and went on vacation in Hawaii for two weeks. Spring 2010 was BUSY! But after all of that, I have come back ready to embark on new adventures in the kitchen. It is perfect timing too, because summer is my favorite time of year to try new recipes on the grill and get inspired with fresh ingredients from the farmer's market. I also have many stand-by recipes that we frequently enjoy in the summertime, which I am most excited to share.

This recipe for cucumber salad is a tangy and refreshing side dish that we love having in the summertime. I learned how to make it from my mom, who made it frequently when I was growing up. I recently found out that this recipe has been passed down through the generations from my great-grandmother. This means that I am the 4th generation in my family to make this regularly! We don't use any measurements when preparing this, so I had to experiment a bit with the recipe in order to know what measurements to list here. Amounts of the ingredients can be adjusted to your taste, so please taste as you go. In fact, my mom does not add the vinegar. After you refrigerate the salad it is still not too late to add more sugar, vinegar, or salad dressing- depending on how you like it. If you enjoy this dish as much as we do, you will find yourself able to eyeball the amounts you need to make the perfect sauce in no time. I hope this side dish becomes as much of a summer staple in your home as it has in ours!

Ingredients:

1/2 heaping cup of salad dressing (such as Miracle Whip)
1-2 Tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp milk
1 large or 2 small cucumbers
1/3 cup diced yellow or red onion

Directions:
  • Use vegetable peeler to peel long strips of peeling off of cucumbers (no need to peel completely). Then slice cucumbers as thinly as possible. Set aside.
  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk salad dressing and vinegar together until smooth and creamy.
  • Add milk and sugar and stir.
  • Add onions and cucumbers and mix until cucumbers are well coated.
*Optional: Sliced tomatoes (remove juices and seeds) may be added to this dish as well. I recommend waiting until locally-grown ones are ready for the best flavor.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Roasted Shrimp and Tomatoes with Creamy Rice

This is a quick, easy, and flavorful way to prepare shrimp. I used a bag of frozen shrimp, size "jumbo" but any size would work. I also only used one pint of tomatoes because that is all I had on hand, but next time I will use two pints. We loved the roasted tomatoes. Just be careful not to over cook this dish, as the shrimp will become tough if overdone. This is a great meal for a Friday during Lent. Enjoy!


Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 cup Arborio rice

1 cup dry white wine

kosher salt and black pepper

1 pound frozen peeled and deveined medium shrimp, thawed

2 pints grape tomatoes

8 sprigs fresh thyme

2 cloves garlic, sliced


Directions:

  • Heat oven to 400ยบ F. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the rice and wine and cook, stirring, until the wine is absorbed.
  • Add 2 cups water and 1⁄4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Simmer, covered, over low heat until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, 18 to 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, on a rimmed baking sheet or in a mixing bowl, toss the shrimp, tomatoes, thyme, garlic, the remaining tablespoon of oil, and 1⁄2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Roast until the shrimp are cooked through, 15 minutes. Serve over the rice.

Recipe Adapted from Real Simple Magazine

Monday, February 22, 2010

Beer Battered Fish

Once again, the season of Lent is upon us, and many of us Mid-westerners tend to go out for fish on Friday nights. Up until now I had made plenty of broiled or baked fish, but had not tried making fried fish. I found this recipe for beer battered tilapia in a magazine and decided to give it a try since I had all the ingredients on hand. It turned out to be as good or better than any fish we've had at a restaurant! It is probably healthier too, since it is fried in olive oil. I'm sure most restaurants use cheaper, less good-for-you varieties in their big fryers. The batter turns crisp and golden brown, and very delicious. I used tilapia, which was excellent, but I also plan to try using cod and haddock. We liked the batter from this recipe so much that I think we might try making our own cheese curds with it as well! Enjoy!

Ingredients
Olive oil
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided
2/3 cup beer
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tilapia or flounder fillets, about 5 ounces each (I thawed out tilapia fillets from a frozen package)
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  • Put enough oil in large skillet to fill about 1/2 inch deep. Heat over medium-high heat.
  • In a shallow dish, whisk together 1/2 cup of the flour, beer, egg, and baking powder. Place remaining 1/4 cup flour in a separate shallow dish.
  • Season both sides of fish fillets with salt and black pepper. Dredge fish in flour, turn to coat both sides and then shake off excess flour. Dunk fish in beer mixture and turn to coat both sides.
  • Add fish to hot oil and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, until cooked through and opaque. Remove fish from oil. Place on a paper towel lined plate.

Yield: 4


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Chocolate Mint Cookies


These cookies were fun to make and disappeared quickly from the cookie jar! If you are fond of the popular "Thin Mint" girl scout cookies, you should try this recipe. Although they have a softer texture, and are not dipped in chocolate, the taste is very similar. Best of all, these cookies are healthier than most. This recipe is definitely a keeper!





Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
Cooking spray


Directions:
  • Spoon flour into a dry measuring cup and level with a knife. Combine flour, cocoa, and baking soda in a small bowl. Stir together well with a whisk.

  • Combine the brown sugar and next 5 ingredients (brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, applesauce, vanilla, and peppermint extract) in a medium bowl. bBeat with a mixer at high speed for 2 minutes. Beat in the egg white. Add flour mixture and beat at low speed until well-blended.

  • Coat your hands lightly with cooking spray. Shape the dough into a 6-inch log. Wrap log in plastic wrap and freeze 1 hour or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cut the log into 24 (1/4-inch) slices, and place 1 inch apart on baking sheets lightly coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool on wire racks.



Yield: 2 dozen (serving size: 1 cookie)

CALORIES 76 (22% from fat); FAT 1.8g (sat 1.1g,mono 0.5g,poly 0.1g); IRON 0.7mg; CHOLESTEROL 4mg; CALCIUM 8mg; CARBOHYDRATE 13.7g; SODIUM 33mg; PROTEIN 1.2g; FIBER 0.2g

Source: Cooking Light, MAY 2001

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Chicken with Mushrooms, Prosciutto, and Cream Sauce

I found this recipe on allrecipes.com and decided to try it after reading the excellent reviews. I used low fat sour cream to make it healthier. I served it with roasted asparagus (using the same method as this recipe for roasted broccoli) and spaghetti noodles with sauce from the chicken on it. We thought it was really good and hopefully you will too!


Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
6 chicken thighs
salt and pepper to taste
6 slices prosciutto (thin sliced)
2 tablespoons minced garlic, divided
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
1 cup sour cream



Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Drizzle melted butter into a casserole dish. Season chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic. Wrap prosciutto around chicken thighs, and place in casserole dish. Place mushrooms and remaining garlic on top of chicken.
  • Bake for about 1 hour, until juices run clear. Remove chicken to a platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
  • Pour drippings from casserole into a skillet set over medium-low heat. Wihisk in wine and sour cream, and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, until warmed through. Pour sauce over chicken and enjoy!


Source: Allrecipes.com