Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pumpkin Loaves

Comedian Jim Gaffigan says that muffins are just "bald cupcakes." Sadly, I must agree. However that doesn't stop me from happily whipping up a batch of muffins or loaves when I happen to have some extra pumpkin puree on hand. Thanks to Belle and Randy, I have plenty.

I love this recipe because you just stir everything to together. Couldn't be more simple...

1 C flour
1 C whole wheat flour
1 C peanut flour
1 C firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 C organic granulated sugar
1 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1 t ginger
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 C pumpkin puree
1/3 water
1 C melted butter
2 t vanilla extract
6 large eggs
2 C sunflower seeds
1 C dried cherries
1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients. Pour into prepared loaf pans or muffin tins. Bake for about an hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean. Cool for 10 minues, then invert onto a rack to cool completely.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Granola Bars for the Earth

For more months than I can count, my little tree-hugger Riley has been asking me to make granola bars for his school snacks so that "we can stop putting wrappers in the landfill... please, Mommy! Make them for the Earth."

Today was the day that I decided to experiment. Not too shabby...tasty and easy! This first attempt was not very sweet. I'll add a bit of raw sugar to the next batch.

INGREDIENTS
3 eggs
2 T olive oil
1 T cinnamon and nutmeg mixture
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 T vanilla extract
3 C toasted whole grains (I used a mixture of rolled oats, rye, barley, and whole wheat)
1 C dried cranberries, black and golden raisins
1/2 C pecans, chopped
1 C sliced almonds
2 T white whole wheat flour
1/4 C raw agave nectar
1/4 C organic maple syrup

PREPARATION
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 9x13" pan with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, oil, spices, salt and vanilla extract. Stir in toasted oats, dried fruits, nuts and flour. Stir in agave and syrup.
3. Spread in prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool slightly; cut into bars. Let cool completely.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Camilla's Chicken Pot Pie

Never having made a pot pie, or ever even had a pot pie, I have been careful to claim this as my own version: Camilla's Pot Pie. This may, or may not, resemble any pot pie that you've ever had, but it is delicious!

The bottom crust is a basic whole wheat crust - whole wheat, butter, and cold water.

The filling: chunks of leftover chicken (roasted chicken from last night's dinner), onions, carrots, celery. Sauté the onions, carrots, and celery in a splash of olive oil till they begin to soften. Add the chicken, 2 T of corn starch dissolved into 2 C of chicken broth, 1 C of heavy cream, and a splash of soy sauce. Once the sauce begins to thicken, stir in minced fresh dill.
Turn the filling into the baked crust. Top with a biscuit crust - 2 C whole wheat flour, 3 T baking powder, 1/4 C butter, 3/4 C buttermilk, 1 C grated parmesan. Sprinkle with grated parmesan.

Bake in a 375 degree oven till the biscuits are golden brown.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Chocolate-Balsamic Glaze and Dressing

This pulled double-duty. I used it as a glaze on the lime-stuffed roasted chicken; Pia used it as a dressing on the salad. So easy and flavorful.

1/4 C aged balsamic vinegar
1 oz dark chocolate
1/2 C olive oil

Simmer the balsamic vinegar with the dark chocolate till the chocolate is melted. Whisk in the olive oil in a stream till combined.

During the last 30 minutes of roasting the chicken, pour the glaze on top of the chicken and continue baking.

For the salad - drizzle the dressing over mixed green sliced strawberries, and a peppercorn goat cheese.

Roasted Parsnip-White Chocolate Soup

INGREDIENTS
5 or 6 large parsnips
olive oil
sea salt
1 large white onion, halved
chicken stock
bay leaf
splash of vanilla extract
white chocolate
half-n-half or heavy cream
lime, halved crosswise
minced fresh dill leaves
chopped macadamia nuts

PROCEDURE
Roll the parsnips and onion in olive oil, sprinkle them with sea salt, and roast in the oven at 375 degrees till they start to caramelize. Place them in a soup pot and cover them with chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer with a bay leaf till the parsnips are fork tender.
Add a splash of pure vanilla extract. Remove the bay leaf and blend in a blender till smooth. Return to the pot. Stir in white chocolate pieces and continue stirring till melted. Add cream. Squeeze in the juice of one lime. Serve hot with a sprinkling of fresh dill and chopped macadamia nuts.

Chocolate Crostini

Toast a slice of bread (I used ciabatta) till it's crisp. Let cool. Then spread a layer of nutella or melted dark chocolate on the crisp. Top with sliced pears and crumbled gorgonzola.



All Chocolate Picnic Dinner

When Pia suggested that we do an All-Chcolate Picnic Dinner for our favorite Oompa Loompas between the two performances of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," we got creative! What a fun idea. Recipes to follow.

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