Monthly Archives: May 2012

Oreo Cupcakes

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I love cupcakes. They are the perfect desert! You get a whole amazing, moist, cake to yourself, but it’s still the perfect single serving. So Sunday Queenie and I baked Oreo cupcakes. She’d never made cupcakes before, so what better place to start than with the nations favourite cookie? We even ground our own flour with my grain  mill. She had a blast, and the cakes were wonderful!

I found this recipe on a site called Annie’s Eats

Oreo Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 24 Oreo halves, with cream filling attached
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 20 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped (I quarter them)
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 tbsp. heavy cream (I used milk)
  • Oreo cookie crumbs
  • 24 Oreo cookie halves

Directions:

For the Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line the wells of two cupcake pans with 24 paper liners. Place an Oreo halve in the bottom of each liner, cream side up.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir together with a fork to blend and set aside.
  3.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Blend in the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla extract.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, beat in half of the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Add the milk and beat just until combined, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients. Gently fold in the chopped Oreos with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated, being careful not to over-mix.
  5. Evenly divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting:

  1. Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Blend in the vanilla extract. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated and smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add the heavy cream to the bowl and beat on medium-low speed just until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium-high and whip for 4 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  2. Frost the cooled cupcakes as desired. Sprinkle with Oreo crumbs and garnish with Oreo halves.
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Apple Cheddar Grilled Cheese

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So Fridays have switched from “whatever” night to “sandwich” night. Partly because I love sandwiches, and partly because Saturdays and Sundays are also “whatever” days. So tonight I made an apple and cheddar grilled cheese sandwich with a side of kale, apple and onion salad.

So, for the bread Husband decided he would make some home made quick bread. He makes really good bread. However this bread, while tasty, didn’t rise very high. Maybe an inch and a half?  This made for very tricky sandwich art. Especially when it came to flipping it. So my suggestion is to get nice wide bread. Home made is wonderful, just… wide.

Apple Cheddar Grilled Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced into rings
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 slices good bread of your choice (the lady I got this recipe from suggest sourdough, tho I used Husbands home made whole grain, and it tasted wonderful)
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese
  • 1 Fuji apple, thinly sliced
  • mustard of your choice

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes (or until very soft).
  2. Spread the mustard on one piece of bread and top with cheese, apples, and shallots. Top with another piece of bread.
  3. Cook in a skillet with a little melted butter until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden and crisp.
    (I cook mine in a dry pan on medium heat. Cuts a few extra calories and keeps the bread from getting soggy. However, either way works wonderfully)

Spinach and Artichoke Grilled Cheese

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Friday night is “whatever” night. It’s my one week night that I get to cook whatever I want! Weekends are also whatever nights, but often Stephan isn’t home so I eat raw kale, or just have a late lunch and skip dinner, and when he is home he sometimes  likes to cook.

So, I love spinach and avocado dip (I don’t eat it often because it’s all cheesy and wonderful and fattening), and both Husband and I love grilled cheese. It’s our favourite comfort food. So I did another gourmet grilled cheese tonight, this time mixing the dip and the sandwich!

I found this on Pinterest, but the recipe is from a site called A Couple Cooks

Spinach and Artichoke Grilled Cheese

Ingredients:

  • Fresh spinach – enough for about 3 cups chopped
  • Canned artichoke hearts – about 6 oz
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (I used mozzarella)
  • 4 pieces bread
  • Kosher salt
  • Butter or more olive oil
Directions:
    1. Dice the 2 cloves garlic. Chop the artichokes. Wash and stem the spinach, then chop it coarsely.
    2. Heat about 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Then add the spinach and a pinch of kosher salt, and saute for a few minutes until just limp. Add the artichokes and saute for another minute or so, until heated through. Drain off any liquid from the pan. Stir in 2 tablespoons sour cream and another pinch of kosher salt.
    3. Spread butter (or olive oil) on one side of each of the 4 bread pieces. Heat a griddle pan to medium high heat. Place 2 pieces of bread on the griddle, buttered side down. On each piece, spread someshredded cheese, the spinach artichoke filling, some more cheese (1/2 cup cheese per sandwich), and the other piece of bread. When the bottom bread is browned, flip the sandwich and cook until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted.
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Kale Fried Rice

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So, I have made a weekly dinner schedule. You know, to help me keep things a bit more organized, make grocery shopping easier, and because husband likes schedules. Nothing too strict, but a nice guideline. Thursday is rice night. Any meal involving rice as the main dish. So, to continue with my 5-days-a-week (or so) of kale kick, tonight we had Kale Fried rice. It was quite good. Husband loved it, I liked it. I will be making this again, but not every week. I got this from a site I discovered today called Erin’s Food Files.

Kale Fried Rice

Ingredients:

1/2 lb  kale, thick stems discarded
1-1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled & finely minced
3 scallions, trimmed, thinly sliced on diagonal (if you don’t have scallions, an onion will work)
2-1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 Tbsp soy sauce (So I have this great citrus soy sauce, which goes great with the kale, since kale just begs for citrus! If you are using regular soy sauce, add a generous spritz of lemon juice)

Directions:

  1. Cut the kale leaves in half lengthwise and then cut crosswise into very thin ribbons (chiffonade). Steam the kale for 7 minutes
  2. Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, being careful not to brown the garlic. Raise the heat to medium and add the steamed kale and scallions. Cook for 2 minutes and then add the rice and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring. Add the soy sauce and cook for 30 seconds more.
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Sweet Pepper and Kale Pasta

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Yep, another kale recipe! I found this recipe on Allrecipes.com while searching for new and different kale recipes. Husband LOVES pasta (seriously, he would eat it for every single meal and be perfectly happy), so mixing kale and pasta is a great way to eat more kale and also make Husband very happy (tho he does like kale, just not as much as pasta). As always, my recipe was slightly altered. Also it served 2 very hungry people, or 4 people with normal appetites.

Sweet Pepper and Kale Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 ounce) package uncooked farfalle (bow tie) pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup roughly chopped kale
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (or fresh, if you have them!)
  • 1 pinch dried basil
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in red pepper, yellow pepper, kale, tomatoes and garlic. Season with basil, salt and black pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender. (as always with kale, don’t cook until it’s pea-green and mushy. That makes it quite gross)
  3. In a large bowl, or the pasta  pot, toss cooked pasta with skillet mixture. Sprinkle with feta cheese to serve.

Strawberry Rhubarb Sugar Cookie Crisp

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Strawberry rhubarb pie is one of my favourite things. I had it for the first time only a few years ago, and just fell in love. So the other day I saw rhubarb for sale at the grocery store, so I grabbed some! Last night I made a really yummy new twist on the pie I have had in the past. It’s a bunch  of fruit in a dish, topped with sugar cookie dough and baked. YUM!!!! Despite it’s almost all fruits, don’t be deceived, there is nothing healthy about this. Enjoy in moderation ^_^

I found this recipe on a site called Heather Christo Cooks

Strawberry Rhubarb Sugar Cookie Crisp

Ingredients:

For the fruit filling:

  • 5 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 3 cups rhubarb, diced
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs flour

For the sugar cookie topping:

  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt and pulse together. Add the butter and pulse to a fine crumb. Add the yolks and pulse until you have a smooth dough. Form into a disc and wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate while you prepare the fruit. (I was out of wax paper, so I just put the whole food processor bowl in the fridge. It worked fine)
  3. When you have cut all of the fruit, combine it together in a 9×13” baking dish.
  4. Toss the fruit with 2 Tbs flour and the ¼ cup sugar.
  5. Pull the dough out of the fridge and using a little powdered sugar or flour, roll out the dough into a roughly 9×13” rectangle while still on the wax paper.
  6. Use the wax paper to turn the dough out onto the top of the fruit.
  7. Sprinkle the top of the dough with the sugar.
  8. Bake the sugar cookie topped dish for 30 minutes, or until just golden around the edges.

Enjoy!

Kale Salad with Pomegranate and Almonds

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You may have caught on by now, but I LOVE kale! At our house, we have kale about 5 nights a week. So I need lots of different styles and flavours to keep it from getting boring. Tonight I made a salad with almonds and pomegranate. Yes, pomegranate seeds can be a pain to get out, but it’s  so worth it!

Kale Salad with Pomegranate and Almonds

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound kale
  • 1 1/2 cups pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds (I didn’t have any on hand, but they would be wonderful!
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (optional)

Directions:

  1. Wash and shake off extra water from the kale. Remove the center ribs and stems; discard. Chop the leaves until fine but still a little leafy.
  2. Combine the chopped kale, pomegranate seeds, sunflower seeds, and sliced almonds in a large bowl; toss to combine. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar, and olive oil over the kale mixture while continuing to toss. Enjoy!