Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Food52 review

I was really excited to find out that a recipe I reviewed for Food52 was posted on their website!  Maybe that's just me whose excited! It's a first for me!

The salad, shaved fennel salad, was excellent! I would definitely make it again!

Here's the link below:

Monday, June 13, 2016

Wild salmon with lemon and dill

I've been enjoying some delicious salmon the last few weeks.  It's not really even a recipe just a list of ingredients. 

Lemon juice, squeezed in top
Fresh dill, chopped
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Grill until your desired doneness. This took about 8 minutes.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Overnight Steel Cut Oatmeal

I really have a difficult time with breakfast. I am typically groggy from the baby or toddler waking me up.  I am not very awake and the kids are very hungry.  

I remembered years ago watching an Alton Brown Good eats episode with overnight oatmeal in a slow cooker. Let me tell you right now.  There is nothing like rolling out of bed to a hot bowl of oatmeal.  It is awesome! Breakfast decision already made.  

I found a recipe to start.  It's from Mel's Kitchen.  I read in the article that she makes her oatmeal firmer than her sister by using less water.  I like my oatmeal more soupy, so I stuck to more water.  The recipe had additions of sweetener and other things.  I kept it simple, because I like to add my own fixings.

Overnight Oatmeal
1 1/2 cups steel cut oatmeal
7 cups water

Place oatmeal and water in a slow cooker. Cook on low overnight 7 hours.  

The results: The next morning, there is a bit of a crust around the edge of the slow cooker.  Just stir it together and it will mix right in.  
It was delicious! I definitely would make this again. A great addition to any breakfast routine. Roll out of bed and eat a hot breakfast. 

Link to original recipe:

Friday, November 27, 2015

No sugar added Cranberry Sauce

Two years ago when we hosted Thanksgiving, my sister in law made a sugar free cranberry sauce. She sweetened it with a raisin mixture. I tried to make it this year. 

Cranberry sauce 
Juice of one orange
1cup golden raisins
1 bag of cranberries
1/2 cup Water

Juice orange and place in a sauce pan with raisins.  Simmer until softened. Using stick blender, blend until roughly chopped. Still should have big chunks. Add cranberries and 1/2 cup water. Simmer until cranberries pop. Using stick blender, blend until it is about half blended. Still chunky. Cool and serve. Great make ahead. 

The Results:

It tasted good, but I think I need to purée the raisins in a food processor instead of the stick blender.  The raisins were visibly noticeable. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Experiment #79: Tarragon Chicken Salad

I have purchased something like this rough recipe before and my son loves it.  The anise flavor from the tarragon, the slight bite of red onion, and the sweetness from the red grapes.  I love the combination.  

I had a lot of chicken breast leftover from the weekend and decided to try. I have fresh tarragon growing in my garden, which I haven't used.  

Tarragon Chicken Salad
One large roasted chicken breast, cut into large cubes, about 1 1/2 cups
A handful of red grapes, cut in half
A dollop of mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red onion, chopped fine
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix everything together and adjust to taste. 

The Results
I enjoyed this chicken salad on a slice of toasted bread as an open faced sandwich. My son even liked it.  I would definitely make this again. Oops. I forgot that I wanted to add chopped celery. I will have to do that next time. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Revisiting Experiment #33: Carrot Cake Muffins

I was making these carrot cake muffins for my little one's first birthday and decided that I should tweak it a bit more.  I substituted applesauce for half of the oil to reduce the fat in the recipe.  The idea for this substitution comes from the last time I made this recipe was for my husband's birthday in February and I was surprised that there was so much oil.  That was all I changed this time around.  Oh, I didn't have an orange to grate orange zest on top this time, but I liked it last time if you care to add a bit of freshness at the end.

I should note that if you want to make a cake from this recipe you should double it because it makes a very short cake, like a 1 inch tall 10 inch cake .  That's what I made back in February.  I baked the cake in a springform pan and it was decidedly small.  A delightful double layer carrot cake would definitely require a double batch!

Carrot Cake Muffins adapted from Martha Stewarts Carrot-Cake Mini Cupcake recipe
Makes 11 muffins
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup sunflower oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups grated carrot

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In another bowl, mix together the wet ingredients: sugar, eggs, oil, applesauce, buttermilk, and vanilla until combined.

Add wet ingredients into the flour mixture and mix just until combined.  Stir in the grated carrot just until combined. It's pretty thick batter. Perhaps because it's half whole wheat?

Place muffin liners in muffin pan and add batter to each muffin cup.  I used an ice cream scoop so that they would be uniform.

Bake until a cake tester comes out clean.  It took my oven about 18 to 20 minutes, but always make sure not to overbake your cakes.  Check them around 18 minutes.  Overbaked cakes are dry and not delicious!

I made cream cheese frosting for these cupcakes using organic cream cheese, organic powdered sugar and a splash of vanilla extract. (8 oz. cream cheese, 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and a splash of vanilla).

The cupcakes turned out perfect. Slightly sweet and very moist with the addition of applesauce and less oily! I would definitely make these again.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Experiment #78: Cardamom Coconut Almond Balls

When I worked more and didn't have children, I used to leisurely go to the Farmers market every Wednesday after work and take on the sites and smells of the produce and prepared foods. There is a stall at that farmers market that sells cardamom coconut balls for a dollar each. They are about the size of a golf ball.  They are so delicious but now after kids they seem a bit too extravagant and leisurely strolling through the farmers market is just not an option right now. 

I recently was able to buy one and I remembered how much I enjoyed them. So I decided that I would try to make them. The ingredients of these balls seemed easy enough, but I was a little worried about the proportions, but I thought I would just wing it and see what would happen.  

I did notice to my surprise that the balls at the farmers market had xylitol a synthetic sugar substitute, so if course I omitted that. The original balls also had coconut oil, which might make them softer. I ended up omitting it. The balls also had pink Himalayan sea salt, which I didn't have so I used the sea salt I had on hand. 

Cardamom Coconut Almond Butter Balls by Samantha 
1 1/2 cups oatmeal (rolled oats)
1 cup almond butter, raw and unsalted
1/2 cup coconut flour ( I used organic)
3 tablespoons maple syrup (I might use a bit less next time)
3/4 teaspoon cardamom ( I used 8 pods and crushed them with a mortar and pestle)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt ( I would use a bit less next time)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a food processor, I pulsed the oatmeal until it was fairly fine powder.  I added the almond butter and coconut flour and pulsed until combined. Then I added the rest of the ingredients and pulsed until combined, stopping to stir so that all the ingredients were mixed in completely.  Dump into a bowl. 

Pick up a small handful and form into balls. I made them into about a tablespoon size balls although I didn't measure precisely. I just picked up a clump and squeezed until the mixture held together. It is very crumbly.  And you are done!  

The Results
I was very pleased with the results. They were delicious! I would definitely make them again. I might reduce the maple syrup a little and the sea salt as well.  Everyone loved them though as is.  I think it is possible that after I ground the oatmeal I could just put all the ingredients in at once, but I was experimenting and making it up as I went along.