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Megans Cookin: January 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Daring Bakers Tuiles

The daring Baker Challenge this month was Tuiles. Something light and fun. We were to pick one of three recipes and bake them, shape them, and pair them. I thought I would be so clever and make the savory batch and pair it with a salad to stay with my new healthy living plan. Well...

It was a good plan but not a very wise one. I made my batch which included a whole stick of butter. Then I tried to make my bowls without a stencil. I planned on rustic salad bowls. So I spread the dough out on my Silpad. There didn't seem to be that much dough, so I got two large circles. No room for error. I added Parmesan cheese and black pepper to my dough. Things were looking promising. I baked them which took longer then I expected. Why? Because I had two huge thick circles of dough to bake. There was nothing delicate about these tuiles.

I took them out of the oven and immediately draped them over a bowl to shape them but they were way to thick to form. So.., We had a slightly curved big Parmesan pepper cracker with our favorite salad for dinner. A very fattening huge Parmesan pepper cracker. I should of went with the sweet and gave half away! I'm chalking this one up to experience.

This month's challenge is brought to us by Karen of Bake My Day and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.

There are so many Daring Bakers who enjoyed this challenge and did an awesome job. I just wasn't one of them. Please go check them out and enjoy their effort and talents!!! And maybe I'll try again. The sweet version! I'll let you know! :)


Monday, January 26, 2009

BBQ Chili

Sometimes I see a recipe and it doesn't do much for me. Then I can see it again, and I cant wait to make it. CRAZY! Case in point, I've been seeing chili recipes all over the blogosphere. I guess I'm just not in the chili mood because it didn't strike a cord with me. Then I saw a recipe for BBQ chili and I just couldn't get to the store quick enough.

The original recipe called for a soy crumble. I substituted ground turkey. And I recommend using baked tortilla chips as a spoon. Yea!

I'm submitting this to Lori at The Recipe Girl. She is hosting the The Ultimate Super Bowl Party Recipe Smack Down. Bloggers can submit Super Bowl recipe favorites, and the winner (selected randomly) will receive a $250 gift card to Sam's Club.

Another healthy recipe to keep us on track this new year. GO US! I'm down 7 pounds. How about you?


1 pound ground turkey
1 Cans kidney, beans rinsed and drained
2 Cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 Can white beans
1 LG onion, chopped
1 Gr. pepper, chopped
1 1/2 TBS chili powder
1/2 TBS cumin
1 Can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1/2 c chicken broth
1 1/2 C. frozen corn
1 Cup BBQ sauce

Brown turkey and drain.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer 20 minutes. I put it in a crock pot for about 3 hours on high.
Serve with cilantro, cheese, sour cream, and chips.

Want more healthy choices? Try these:

Refried Bean Soup
Maple and Brown Sugar Magic Muffins
My Favorite Salad

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Healthy Maple and Brown Sugar Magic Muffins

First off, I would like to thank Carla from Chocolate Moosey.
She helped me with my new blog design. What do you think?
Looks pretty nice if I do say so myself.
A big hug and many thanks to you Carla!
You rock!

And now, I'll tell ya about my Magic Muffins. My sister-in-law's son got married many years ago. For the reception, the bride wanted simple and elegant. They were married in a church and then the reception followed at one of our local parks. They had an assortment of different cheeses and crackers along with a beautiful spray of fresh fruit. The bride also requested Malt O Meal Muffins. I thought she was crazy. Malt O Meal? The recipe is on the side of the cereal box and when I tried them, I found out she wasn't crazy. They were delicious. I've made these many times over the years following that wedding. But I, of course, modified them. Applesauce for the oil and egg substitute instead of eggs were used. This time I used whole wheat flour and Splenda instead of sugar too.

These are not fufu muffins. These are hearty stick to your rib muffins. There is a mapley sweetness to them and their very chewy. You really feel like you ate something of substance with these. Grab one with a piece of fruit and your good to go! The recipe is at the bottom of this post. but now I want to show you some some pictures of our lake. Or...lack of it.

Due to Shasta lake being so low, old relics have resurfaced from the depth of the lake. This old train tunnel was from the original route of the railroad that once traveled through this valley before the building of Shasta lake. I beleve the last time this was visible was in the drought of 1977. I'll always remember because it was the year I graduated from high school. I was only 3 years older then what my daughter is now. O.K. that's a scary thought!

The lake had been reduced to a small river. The lake is only about 10 miles away from Redding but this arm of the lake is in Lakehead. About 22 miles north.

Where's the water? When the lake is full, it has 365 miles of shoreline.

The kids are trying to carve their name on the bridge pillars.
I knew I should have brought a Sharpie!

Wow! Pray for rain! Usually a beautiful, huge lake, this is a pretty sorry looking. And just think how bad the business will be this summer for the resorts.

It's going to be a dry hot summer.

Maple and Brown Sugar Magic Muffins
Adapted from Malt O Meal

1 1/4 whole wheat flour
1 cup Maple and Brown Sugar flavored Malt O Meal hot wheat cereal, dry
1/3 cup Splenda or sugar
3/4 cup low fat milk
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup egg substitute
1 TBSP baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients till just moistened. Pour into greased muffin pan

Bake at 400 18-20 minutes

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Short Ribs with Chocolate and Rosemary

Whether it's 11 degrees out side or a beautiful 85 degrees like it is here, this recipe is a soul satisfying hearty dish that is perfect for a Sunday Supper.
Or anynight supper!

Cooked slow and low, the meat falls off the bone and it is so fork tender.
The way short ribs should be.

The cocoa powder added so much more depth to the flavor and color.
It was beautiful.

Next time I will serve this over a bed of wide noodles.
Something that will cling to that amazing sauce.
Oh yea! There will be a next time!

Short Ribs with Chocolate and Rosemary
Found at Epicurious

1/4 cup diced pancetta (Italian bacon; about 1 1/2oz)
6 pounds bone-in short ribs
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped peeled carrots
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups dry red wine
3 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 cups chopped drained canned diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 very large fresh thyme sprig
1 bay leaf

3 tablespoons shaved or grated bittersweet chocolate
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
Preparation Heat heavy large pot over medium heat. Add pancetta and sauté until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. Working in batches, brown ribs in drippings in pot over medium-high heat until brown on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer to plate. Add onions and next4 ingredients to pot. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add wine. Boil uncovered until liquid is reduced by half, scraping up browned bits, about 5 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and pancetta. Return ribs to pot, cover partially, and simmer 1 1/2 hours. Uncover and simmer until rib meat is tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 1/2 hours longer.

Transfer ribs to plate; discard bay leaf. Spoon fat from surface of sauce. Boil sauce until beginning to thicken, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add chocolate, cocoa powder, and rosemary; stir until chocolate melts. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Return ribs to pot. Simmer to rewarm, about 5 minutes.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Refried Bean Soup

Here is a great hearty soup that can pull double duty. Not only is it great tasting, but it's a healthy and easy dish too! Sticking to my New Years healthy life style, I made a pot of this soup for dinner, with the intent to have a bowl everyday at lunch. At only 1 WW point per cup, I'm hoping this helps keep me on track.

This soup really surpassed my expectations. It was spicy, creamy, chunky, Tasty! It was a good Mexican flavored soup. I topped mine off with a dollop of fat free sour cream and cilantro. But the family crushed tortilla chips on top and put a health dose of grated cheese on theirs along with their sour cream.

The recipe really doesn't take much work. I cut my onions, bell peppers, and garlic up in the food processor and dumped everything togeather. I also wanted to make it early and have it done by the time I got home. Who wants to go work out and then come home and make soup. I Dont! And I didn't care how easy a recipe it was, I wanted it done when I got home. So I dumped all my ingredients into the crock pot and turned it on high. Three hours later when I got home, dinner was ready.

Using pantry friendly ingredients, this recipe was easy, healthy, and just plain delicious.

Refried Bean Soup, - It's what's for dinner!

Refried Bean Soup
Recipe by Weight Watchers

Given to me by April

2 Tsp minced garlic
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup bell pepper, chopped
1 can of vegetable or chicken broth, you can use low sodium
1 can of mexican tomatoes (rotel)
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of kidney beans
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of refried beans
1/4 tsp cumin
mix all of the ingrediets and let simmer for 30 minutes.

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Risotto Rice Pudding

I was excited to try this recipe because, well, because I love rice pudding. But I'm afraid this recipe took it's toll on me! Oh the taste was there. In fact it was delicious. But I kept such a close eye on it when it was cooking, that it seemed to take forever!!! And then to top it off, it didn't thicken up for me. I don't think I cooked it long enough or hard enough. Maybe it should have been at a roaring boil, I don't know. It was quite soupy, sweet milky soup. ~Sigh~

April made this soup pudding and had much better results then I did. This recipe was picked by her as part of our cookbook project. It comes from Jill O'Connors wonderful cookbook Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey: Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth.
Check out April's Risotto Pudding. It makes me want to make it again but I don't want the calories in the house. Lets face it, I have no will power. But I am wondering if I could lighten it up a little. Maybe with some 1% milk and a sugar substitute. Now that I might try!
Next time it's my turn to pick the cookbook project recipe. It's going to be low cal and I think your gonna like it!

Rich Risotto Rice Pudding
By: Jill O'Connor
1/2 cup arborio rice
8 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
Freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
Combine the rice, milk, sugar, vanilla bean, cinnamon, and salt in a large heavy bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring every 5 minutes as the mixture starts to thicken, for about 30 minutes.
Continue cooking until the rice is tender but not too mushy, about 15 minutes longer. The milk will be thick and the rice tender, but the mixture will still be a little soupy, which is what you want. (As the pudding cools, it thickens, and if it is too thick while still hot, it will firm up into a thick, stodgy lump without the unctuous creaminess of a great rice pudding.)
In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and cream together and stir into the rice pudding. Continue cooking the pudding over medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until the eggs are cooked through and pudding is creamy and glossy, but still fairly soupy. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Grate a little nutmeg (if using) into the pudding. Remove the vanilla bean. Pour the pudding into a serving bowl and press plastic wrap over the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold, at least 2 to 3 hours. Serve cold.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Macadamia Crusted Chicken with Mango Salsa

Like most people, I started my New Year resolutions on Monday, the 5Th of January. And like most people, I vowed to eat healthier and get more exercise. I'm pleased to say I at least started off on the right foot. After a trip to the gym, I came home and made macadamia crusted chicken with a mango salsa.
While trying to catch up on my blogger reading after a long weekend away, I started following link after link after link and came across this recipe that I knew would become my dinner. I used their main idea, but of course has to adjust everything to what I had on hand and/or what I remembered to buy at the store. The marinade I used was a soy sauce based marinade called Sati Babi I got from my Taste of Home package. But I added the original marinade recipe for you. And I knew I wanted to bake it instead of frying.
I loved this dish and I know I'll be making it again. I did a little prep work before I went to the gym so it didn't take long to all come together once I got home. And the leftovers made a tasty salad for my lunch the next day.
The salsa makes this dish sing. It's fresh and spicy and makes the whole meal pop.

Macadamia Crusted Chicken Tenders
Adapted from RecipeZarr

1/2 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon mirin (sweet rice wine)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon peeled and minced fresh ginger

6 boneless skinless chicken breast-I used chicken tenders
1 cup macadamia nuts, finely chopped
3/4 cup fine dry breadcrumb (Japanese Panko)
1/2 cup AP flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten

1Marinade: Combine ingredients.
2Chicken: Marinate chicken for 1 hour, turning occasionally, then drain.
3Combine nuts and bread crumbs.
4Dredge chicken in flour, dip in beaten eggs then coat with nut mixture
5. Bake 400 for 15-20 minutes or till done

Mango Salsa
1 Can crushed Pineapple
2 Mangos, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1TBSP fat leaf parsley

Combine all ingredients